NHS Trust shines spotlight on recruitment in Cumbria

The work that CPFT is doing to recruit nurses, doctors, health professionals and support staff is to be recognised by the national NHS Jobs website.

NHS Jobs have used the improvements made by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as a case study and will shortly share this on their website. The Trust has made significant changes to the recruitment process, saving time, money and getting new starters into post much quicker than previously.

The Trust has also been involved in a number of recruitment events, most recently at The Halston on Sunday 4th December. There are approximately 800 registered nurses in Cumbria who are not currently practicing, and they, along with students and nurses from outside Cumbria were encouraged to come along to the event, which was funded by the Brampton League of Friends. 

HR staff held 12 interviews on the day, appointed to 2 permanent positions and 9 bank posts – 3 of these are nursing students who are due to graduate next year.

Lynn Marsland, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, said “This event has been a great success for us as a Trust – not only were we able to recruit to some nursing positions which have been difficult to fill, we now have several third year nursing students registered as bank staff with the Trust; this means that they can work in different teams as and when there is demand.”  

Recruitment of health professionals is a national issue. In 2015, there were over 600,000 nurses employed in the UK, with just over half working within NHS Trusts and the rest in care and independent organisations. With around 20,000 new nurses graduating each year, and a similar amount leaving or retiring, there are not enough qualified nurses to meet the growing demand. 

Cumbria is not immune to these national challenges – if anything, our unique geography brings challenges of its own. However, Cumbria Partnership is doing everything it can to tackle the issue, through recruitment events, campaigns and by streamlining the recruitment process to speed things up when they do find the right candidate for the job.

Approval time has been reduced from an average of six weeks to one week, duplication has been reduced and using an electronic system to produce and send offer letters and contracts not only saves a lot of time but has saved the Trust over £5,000 per year in printing, postage and associated costs. Improving the process for shortlisting, interviewing and pre-appointment checks has significantly reduced the time it takes from producing the job advert to getting the new starter in post.

“Band 5 staff nurses, mental health nurses, nurse practitioner and community nurse posts take, on average, longer to fill,” explains Victoria McDade, resourcing and training lead at CPFT. “By using the NHS Jobs site we are making it much easier for people to find and apply for jobs in Cumbria – 96% of new starters said they have found NHS Jobs ‘really useful’. It’s also much easier for managers within the Trust to track the recruitment progress and have access to all the information they need in one place.”

If you would like to find out more about working for Cumbria Partnership, visit www.cumbriapartnership.nhs.uk or www.jobs.nhs.uk