NHS struggles on vacancies

Nearly nine out of 10 primary care trusts, hospital trusts and other NHS organisations have difficulty filling job vacancies, according to a report published this week.

The recruitment and retention survey published by NHS Employers and professional HR consultancy organisation NHS Partners’ Research and Information, found that 86% of the 155 responding trusts had difficulty finding suitable staff.

In particular, posts for allied health professionals (AHPs), doctors, nurses and midwives proved the hardest to accommodate.

A national shortage of trained professionals was cited as the main reason for recruitment difficulties, while the cost of living – particularly in London – was also a contributory factor to the problems in recruiting AHPs, who provide recovery care for patients.

However, porter, receptionist and healthcare assistant jobs were mainly over-subscribed, with more than 30 or 40 suitable applicants for a single post.

More than half of the respondents use international recruitment to fill nursing and AHP vacancies, mainly targeting the Philippines, India, Spain and Poland.

In addition, 10% of trusts were anticipating redundancies in the next 12 months with a further 25% not ruling it out. Managers and the wider healthcare team were the groups most likely to be affected.

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