WORKFORCE: Salford Royal Foundation Trust is forecasting that it will miss its target of recruiting a further 10 health visitors this year, its commissioner has reported.

The latest performance report for NHS Salford – a “locality board” of the Greater Manchester primary care trust cluster – states: “Commissioners have made available funding for an additional 10 whole time equivalent (wte) health visitors to be recruited in 2011-12.

The baseline is 41.89wte in March 31 2011, making for a target of 51.89wte by 31 March 2012. Additional funding has also been made available to bring the total health visitor workforce to 69wte by 31 March 2015.”

Notwithstanding this, the trust was forecasting 46wte by the end of 2011-12, it added.

The trust had saidall providers were facing problems recruiting health visitors, it added. “All staff recruited to date are still in post, however some choose to work part time hours and this is reflected in the figures,” it stated.

To meet the target, the foundation trust had increased their training capacity to six health visitors per year. This enables them to grow their workforce by a maximum of six per year, assuming they are able to retain both their students and their existing workforce, the report explained. They also recruited on a two week continuous cycle, meaning it is possible to apply for vacant posts all year round.

Given the problems with recruitment, it was now exploring the possibility of increasing training capacity.