New nurse recruitment process reaps rewards for Lincolnshire’s hospitals

Lincolnshire’s hospitals are welcoming 22 new healthcare support workers (HCSWs) thanks to a new initiative to tackle staffing shortages.

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United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has begun cohort recruitment for HCSWs and staff nurses.

This means that rather than advertise each vacant post separately, general adverts are put out and panel interviews carried out. This reduces the time it takes to recruit, reduces the workload for individual wards and also saves the trust money.

From the first cohort recruitment of HCSWs this month, 22 new staff have been appointed- one at Grantham and District Hospital, two for Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, seven for Lincoln County Hospital and 12 to join the Trust Nurse Bank.

Deputy Chief Nurse at ULHT, Debrah Bates, said: “The response has been fantastic. Up to now, recruitment would be done by each ward as and when they required a new member of staff. That meant we could have a number of adverts out at any one time for the same job roles spread across the Trust. We’d then have to run a separate interview panel for each job.

“Recruiting in a cohort means that all jobs are advertised together and a panel interviews all applicants at the same time, reducing the time it takes to recruit, reducing the workload for individual wards and also saving money.

“In addition, it means that we can offer jobs to everyone who is successful in interview. In the past if a ward only had one job, they could only offer the post to one of their interviewees. Now we can offer a post somewhere at the Trust to everyone who gets through the interview. This can include posts on our own nurse bank.

“We know there are nurses out there. We need to do what we can to bring those nurses to Lincolnshire, and we’re doing that by being competitive, streamlined and professional.”

In order to make this possible, generic job descriptions have been developed for all HCSWs and staff nurses working across the Trust, apart from those in specialist areas.

“This will provide a fantastic boost to our nursing numbers. We’re already advertising for our first cohort of staff nurses too and it’s popular so far,” said Debrah.

Director of HR and Organisational Development at ULHT, Martin Rayson, said: “This is one of the fantastic things we are doing to try and tackle our shortage of staff, reduce our number of vacancies and increase the size of the permanent workforce.”

Another innovation the Trust is working on is the development of a nurse attraction team, who will attend recruitment events with the aim of attracting and offering staff positions. They will enable the Trust to compete with other organisations in the same position, helping to make clear what the Trust has to offer future employees.