Flat-pack homes to lure hospital staff to London

London’s
Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust is among the first in the country to consider
using new space-saving homes in an effort to attract staff to the city.

The
flat-pack Livein Quarters were launched at the Ideal Homes Exhibition and have
been designed as a cheap alternative form of housing to keep key workers in the
capital.

Ian
Young, director of HR at the trust, told Personnel Today that housing was a key
part of its recruitment policy, especially when so many nurses were brought in
from abroad:

“The
main problem in recruiting staff here is that London is a very expensive place
to live and work, so, as an employer, we have to help staff with housing,” he
said.

“The
Livein Quarters are something we’re looking at as part of the solution. Most
importantly it gets staff onto the housing ladder and that’s key in London.”

Young
said while the trust investigated the viability of the portable homes it was
also searching for available land.

As
part of its overall drive to find housing for staff, he said the Trust was also
building a range of modern, bespoke housing:

“We’re
building some new accommodation for staff and have just sold three tower blocks
to a housing association who will deal with the rent for us. We also have some
additional on-site nursing accommodation.”

Last
year the trust recruited 189 nurses from overseas and the search for more homes
is part of a package of measures to ensure they are properly integrated.
Foreign recruits are given a range of information on living in London;
including banking and details of overseas communities in the city.

“You
have to put in place a whole raft of measures for staff coming from a different
culture. As part of our induction process we spend a lot of time trying to help
them integrate into a new culture,” he said.

By Ross Wigham

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