With Medway Maritime Hospital set to welcome a contingent of overseas nurses in the New Year, the trust has unveiled its newly-refurbished nursing accommodation in a bid to help boost and improve staff retention.
The on-site accommodation at Medway Maritime Hospital now lays claim to new flooring; refreshed colour schemes; modern fixtures and fittings in the kitchen, bathroom and toilets, a newly-converted communal social area, flat screen TV and improved Wi-Fi access.
The nursing accommodation quarters have capacity to accommodate up to 25 members of staff at any one time. While the much-improved facilities are being used as an incentive in the trust’s efforts to recruit nurses from overseas, they will also be made available to other clinical staff working on site.
Medway NHS Foundation Trust - like many other trusts in the country – currently has a shortage of nurses, and therefore has to rely on the provision of agency staff to maintain safe staffing levels for patient. In order to reduce the reliance on agency staff, the trust has been running a proactive recruitment campaign to attract more permanent nurses.
As part of the recruitment strategy, the trust has hosted a number of open days in local and surrounding areas, as well as working with partner universities – Canterbury Christ Church and Greenwich – to offer newly qualified nursing students the opportunity to come and gain invaluable experience at Medway.
This has resulted in the recruitment of 114 local nurses in the last six months. At the same time, Medway will also be welcoming the arrival of up to 25 qualified nurses from overseas in the New Year.
Karen McIntyre, Deputy Director of Nursing for Women and Children at Medway Hospital said: “We are delighted to be opening our newly-refurbished nursing accommodation, which we hope will prove an enticing factor in helping attract nurses to come and work here at Medway.
“We recognise that we need to recruit more nurses – a situation faced by many other NHS trusts. What is essential is that we have the right factors and benefits in place to help us retain our nursing staff.
“Given Medway’s close proximity to London, it is inevitable we do lose some of our nurses seeking career progression, once they have acquired the right level of experience. Offering our new nurses the option to live on site at the hospital, while they adapt to their new surroundings, is just one example of how we can help strike the delicate balance of recruiting and retaining staff. We are definitely starting to move in the right direction.”
Dr Pete Green, Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We welcome the hospital’s improvements to nurses’ accommodation, and see this as a positive step towards supporting and enabling frontline staff to do the best for their patients.”
Nursing staff will be offered the opportunity to live on site at Medway Hospital for up to three months. Once they are familiarised with their new work environment and local area, the Trust will help and support them in finding accommodation in Medway and its surrounding areas.