August 29, 2019 12.52 pm This story is over 28 months old

Martin Rayson: Recruiting and retaining hospital staff for the future 

It’s no secret, Lincolnshire hospitals are struggling to recruit

It’s well documented that ULHT and indeed the NHS as a whole, is struggling to recruit.

On top of the national shortages, we often find it hard to attract new staff to our beautiful county. We have grown the number of posts in the trust to ensure we provide the best quality services for our patients. As a consequence, we have a large number of clinical vacancies (nurses, doctors and other health professionals), covered by high cost agency staff to maintain that quality of service.

It’s amidst this challenging climate that we have to think differently about how we recruit to our NHS and that is certainly what we are doing, with a number of different initiatives currently being trialled and implemented across the trust.

The Lincolnshire Talent Academy, first formed in June 2015 by ULHT to help attract school leavers into the NHS, is now recognised as a leading player in its field and has been supporting other trusts to develop their own regional academies across the country.

A first of its kind in the NHS, the Talent Academy is made up of health and care organisations across Lincolnshire, delivering work experience and NHS career pathway development opportunities for a range of clinical and non-clinical professions.

The Talent Academy has also been involved in a number of trailblazing recruitment initiatives for the trust, including the placement of nursing cadets, trainee nursing associates, developing the registered pharmacist, occupational therapy and physio apprenticeships and the Aspiring Medics and Dentists programmes. The latter hoping to attract the next new wave of hard to recruit medical personnel into the professions.

We are also delighted to be welcoming more than 90 newly qualified nurses into the trust as part of the 2019/20 cohort from the University of Lincoln. It’s always great to see our newly qualified nursing choosing ULHT to come to as a place to work and hope to retain as many as possible over the coming months and years as they progress in their careers.

Our strong links with the university are a key part of our recruitment strategy, as well as selling the many benefits of living and working in Lincolnshire, not least with the advent of the first cohort of Lincoln Medical School undergraduates embarking on their studies this year.

Our aim remains clear – to entice and secure a new generation into the NHS, to help bolster its future and keep this vital institution shining bright well into the 21st century.

Please visit our website and click on the ‘join us’ section to learn more about the trust and find out what opportunities we have to offer.

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Martin Rayson is the Director of HR and Organisational Development at the United Lincolnshire NHS Hospitals Trust