HOSPITAL chiefs in Wigan have bucked the national trend by ploughing £2.1m of investment into recruiting 145 new front line staff.
Despite having to make huge savings due to NHS budget cuts, health bosses confirmed today that 90 registered nurses and 55 additional health support workers have been recruited by the trust. Bosses have until April to find savings of £13.8m but the trust is still recruiting front line staff as part of a £70m investment programme which will include an new oncology unit at Wigan Infirmary.
Recruitment of front line staff is also rising, with 246 front line staff recruited in 2011/12, compared to 194 the previous year.
Now £2.1m has been invested to create the 145 new posts, which bosses at Wrightington Wigan Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) say is helping to move hospital care forward.
Pauline Jones, acting director of Nursing and Patient Service, said: “This investment demonstrates a real commitment by the trust, to provide safe, effective care for all our patients.
“It also represents a firm pledge to support staff and improve morale.
“The additional staff are working at ward level across all our hospitals. Recruitment has been ongoing since the start of the financial year, 2012.”
Earlier this month, the Wigan Evening Post revealed that WWL is one of the only hospital trusts in the region that has continually recruited frontline staff over the past two years despite huge public spending cuts in the NHS.
Figures released through a Freedom of Information request revealed that there were 1,476 medical employees (doctors, surgeons, nurses, midwives etc) working at WWL in March 2011.
This had risen to 1,523 in March 2012 and as of November 14, there were 1,564 on the payroll.