Nursing vacancy rates double national average in Barking, Redbridge and Havering Trust
Nursing vacancy rates are twice the national average for Barking, Redbridge and Havering University Hospitals Trust.
Information released by the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) shows the vacancy rate – amount of vacant jobs compared to the total number of posts – as high as 12 per cent for the borough, double the average of six per cent.
A report shows more than 200 nursing post were vacant for the area’s trust in June, which includes King George and Queen’s hospitals.
Director of nursing for the trust Flo Panel-Coates said: “Patients will get improved care from enhanced nursing levels, as we are recruiting extra nursing staff to work on the wards at night.
“We are also recruiting additional nurses to support our senior sisters on the wards, so they have more time to provide strong leadership and ensure we are providing high quality care at all times.”
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Vacancy rates across the capital’s NHS trusts were generally much higher than national averages with over 6,700 vacancies within London.
RCN London’s regional director Bernell Bussue believes hospital work is being undermined by a lack of available, suitably-qualified nurses to take vacant positions.
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“There are obvious questions about whether training is being commissioned at appropriate levels and whether enough is being done to attract nurses from all backgrounds to what is a really great profession,” he said.
Caroline Alexander, chief nurse for NHS England, London Region, insists efforts to increase permanent staff, rather than temporary replacements, is a priority.
“As the report highlights, there is a national shortage of nurses and London’s vacancy rate presents a real challenge,” she said.
“It is important to note that trusts are working hard to address the shortfall, including using international recruitment campaigns.”