WORKFORCE: The trust’s unscheduled medical care division has acknowledged it will need to recruit up to eight nurses and healthcare assistants a month to prevent a repeat of the staff shortages it experienced in 2011.

The division made 68 conditional offers of employment in January, in a bid to fill a gap of 75 whole time equivalent employees in its budgeted workforce of 577wte.

The trust’s scheduled surgical care wards went on a similar recruitment drive that month to fill gaps of 31wte in its qualified nursing workforce, and 7wte unqualified staff.

The divisions both acknowledged that in future they would need to recruit around eight nurses or HCAs a month to maintain full and effective levels of staffing.

“Both Scheduled and Unscheduled Care expect to have resolved their staff shortages by March with agency nursing staff ceasing to be used from 29 February 2012,” the report stated.

There is now clear understanding within both areas that safe and effective staffing, linked to the number of beds which the divisions need to operate, is their highest priority and subject to the availability of workforce supply, we do not envisage the shortages, which both areas experienced in the second half of 2011, being repeated.”