More money for training staff

HR managers will need to take steps to attract more clinical staff to work in different specialities across the NHS.

Health Secretary Alan Milburn has announced an ambitious staff training programme to encourage trained nurses to specialise, in a bid to solve staff shortages.

The Government has pledged to spend £21.4m on 600 critical care nurses, 175 infection control nurses, 100 health visitors, 50 community psychiatric nurses and 25 cancer nurses.

There will also be an extra 200 scientists and technicians, 100 radiographers, 100 operating department practitioners, 50 speech and language therapists and 40 clinical psychologists.

Milburn also announced a taskforce dedicated to workforce capital and capacity, which will be one of 10 set up to drive forward the NHS plan.

But Jan Lee, HR beacon development manager at Bradford Health Authority, said to solve staff shortages the NHS must make itself more appealing to young people in schools.

She said, “Some evidence suggests that children have made serious choices about their careers by 11. We are hitting them too late. The NHS does not offer just several careers, it offers several professions.

“We need a strategy which will attract young people from schools – there are already some organisations which are dedicated to young people.”

Lee is a teacher seconded to the health authority to promote careers in the NHS in schools. The authority runs several programmes to boost recruitment in the area, including mentoring schemes for nurses – which have already recruited six new nurses.

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