Salford is at the centre of a national campaign to get to grips with the staffing crisis in the NHS especially the shortage of nurses.
Key figures from nursing, hospital chiefs and unions gathered at Salford university to discuss how to attract more staff particularly to fill gaps that have opened up since the exodus of European workers and the withdrawal of bursaries for trainee nurses.
Salford Royal, for instance, currently has 47 nursing vacancies across 30 departments. Their three main areas of vacancies are in cardiology, urology, neurology.
The health service talks were hosted at the university last week by One Continued Professional Development (ONECPD), which is a company that supplies high value and demand training to regional, national and international clients.
What a fantastic day at #TheNursingConf We hope everyone who attended had a great day! @JamieWaterall @PHE_uk @bboag @MargaretRoweUoS @SalfordUni @SalfordUni_SPD @theRCN @careatsalford @councilofdeans @SalfordTogether @FNightingaleF @TheQNI @DrUmeshPrabhu @MedicsProUK pic.twitter.com/Vp97nulaZF
— SalfordUni_SPD (@SalfordUni_SPD) February 6, 2018
It is also part of Salford Professional Development, both of which are wholly owned by the university of Salford.
The Royal College of Nursing has estimated that there are 40,000 vacant nursing positions across the whole health service.
Its chief executive Janet Davies said: ”Patients on wards feel the difference, but so does the older person waiting for the district nurse at home and those who visit local clinics. The number of trained nurses available to work for the NHS is getting smaller and hospitals have 40,000 fewer nurses than they say they need.”
Due to the struggle it faces to recruit enough staff, Salford Royal has turned to social media to advertise and promote its vacancies.
Rebecca Tinnion, HR Project Assistant for Salford NHS Foundation Trust which runs Salford Royal, has said: “Social media has directly helped our trust to face the nursing shortage. In September 2017 a record number of student nurses started with us and we’ve also gained approximately 85 new registered nurses.”
Laura Strumidio, chair of Coventry University, said: ”We have yet to feel the full impact of the removal of the student nurse bursaries, but we do know that applications are down and that’s not going to help at the end of three years time when there will be less nurses going out into practice.”
The biggest hit came by a 90 per cent reduction in applications from EU countries after the Brexit vote, and saw increasing pressures on nursing staff after the government removed the funding from trainee nurses.
The overall outcomes for the conference was to raise awareness of the problems the NHS is facing and to promote future training for nurses.
The conference highlighted topics such as, investing in the existing workforce and support the transition for newly qualified nurses.