Wigan hospital boss speaks of challenges faced to keep nurse staffing levels up

A Wigan hospital boss has spoken of the challenges faced in trying to keep nurse staffing levels up.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 11:16 am
Nurse recruitment challenge

WWL’s deputy chief nurse Alison Luxon was speaking out after it was revealed that it had had to advertise for many nurse and midwife vacancies last year, although she has pointed out that there were actually 211 rather than 479 equivalent full-time vacancies as originally published.

She said: “WWL recognises and acknowledges the national challenges of retention and recruitment of staff, particularly at this time of increasing demand for services within community and hospital based services.

“The trust currently has a nursing and midwifery turnover of 11.5 per cent which is in comparable with the national picture, however this figure has been as low as 9.5 per cent. Similarly, as with the national profile, our nursing workforce is aging, and just over 40 per cent of vacancies advertised have been through retirement. In comparison, WWL has very few vacancies within its maternity services for registered midwives.

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“In April 2019, WWL became the provider of community services for Wigan borough residents. The transfer of these services resulted in an increase in vacancies within the trust, as not all vacancies had been filled by the previous provider of the services.

“Over the course of the last two years the trust has developed, in collaboration with higher education institutions, a pipeline for Wigan borough residents to enter into the nursing workforce which is seen as a positive step towards addressing workforce issues. WWL has also increased the number of student nurse placements being undertaken across all its services to promote Wigan as being the place to work.

“The trust has also recruited internationally which adds to the diversity and experience of the existing workforce.

Despite the vacancies, WWL continues to deliver high standards of quality care. All of our sites are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by the CQC, and patients experience low levels of harm whilst in our care.”