Low-rent plan to boost NHS hiring

The NHS is to rent homes to staff at 40 per cent below market rate in an
effort to boost recruitment and retention in London.

John Yates, housing co-ordinator for NHS Estates, said that in London alone
the health service needs another 7,000 nurses, but recruitment efforts were
being undermined by high accommodation costs.

He told the conference staff could only afford to spend 25 to 35 per cent of
their disposable income on accommodation.

In response, the NHS has launched a variety of housing programmes, from
making 2,829 new units in London available to staff at lower than market value
rates to establishing affordable staff hotels.

The hotels will house staff on shift work. One is being trialled at the
Barbican in London and two more are being built – one near Great Ormond Street
and the other in Oxford.

Last year the Government gave £250m towards the Starter Home Initiative for
key workers, and 50 per cent of the money was allocated to the NHS.

Yates warned that if the housing plans fail then the NHS faces higher
recruitment costs and increased staff turnover.

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