WORKFORCE: Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust is considering offering clinical placements for members of the armed forces to help ease staffing pressures.

The trust’s nursing director, Diane Sarkar, last week met with Colonel Alan Barr, assistant training director at the Army Medical Directorate for an initial discussion on the proposals.

A spokeswoman for the trust told HSJ that the meeting had been “extremely positive” but that there were “many details that still need to be discussed.”

The trust “look[s] forward to exploring the idea further over the coming months,” she added.

“This would not only develop and maintain the skills of members of the military medical services but also provide an opportunity for our staff to learn from their experiences.”

The trust stressed that the placements would not be a permanent solution for staff vacancies.

Vacancies across the trust increased from 8.23 per cent in May to 8.77 per cent in June, according to board papers.