Overtime cash incentive for Wigan nurses

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

Cash-strapped health chiefs are paying nurses £30 per hour to encourage them to work overtime in the borough’s hospitals.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust is offering the higher rate of pay to help cover staff shortages.

Bosses say that bank nurses cannot always fill gaps on rotas, particularly when staff cannot come in at short notice or a large number of patients are being admitted.

So nurses from across the trust’s sites are being offered pay rates of £30 an hour as an incentive to work extra hours.

A spokesman said: “Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust operates a policy whereby any unfilled shifts on rosters are sent through to NHS Professionals (NHSP), the trust bank service, and are made available for trust staff and NHSP-only staff who can then choose the day, shift and area they wish to work.

“At times this service is unable to meet the demand, especially to cover short notice absence or when there are high numbers of patients requiring admission to hospital and there is a need to open additional beds.

“In order to maintain safety, additional measures have been implemented to encourage staff to either voluntarily work additional hours that are paid at a rate of £30 per hour for a fixed period of time (this scheme is open to all registered nurses across all sites) or to work at very short notice for the overtime rate

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“This overtime rate has been offered to support the Royal Albert site in particular, however the same rate is offered to staff working in theatres at Wrightington.”

Earlier this month it was reported that the trust was struggling to recruit the nurses and midwives it needs.

The latest figures show 365 nursing and midwifery job openings were advertised by the trust between October 2017 and September 2018.

As of September, the trust employed 4,338 full-time staff, with 26 per cent of them in nursing and midwifery - but these roles made up 61 per cent of the positions advertised over the year.

At the time, the trust’s assistant director of nursing Amanda Cheesman said: “The issue regarding recruitment of nurses and midwives is one affecting many trusts within the country, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust being one of them.

“As nurses and midwives make up the majority of our workforce, we are keen to recruit and retain staff, supporting those who come to work at WWL throughout their careers.”

Twenty overseas nurses were expected to join the trust in coming months, she said, and the first cohort of registered nursing associates had started work.