Has NHS found cure for staffing malaise?

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. It’sthat time of the year when depressing stories about the crisis in the NHS are astaple of headlines and news broadcasts. Most of the media stories are theconsequence of chronic skills shortages in NHS trusts, such as the trustreported to the Health and Safety Commission last week for failing to implementthe Working Time directive.  The latestreport on the rise in violence against frontline staff is a symptom of anover-stretched and under-resourced service. TheGovernment’s promise of an extra 36,000 staff is welcome but it will be someyears before trained staff can come on line, and NHS cash in the past hastended to get absorbed into propping up the existing service. Meanwhile,the challenge facing HR professionals in the health service is a daunting one.Apart from the recruitment and retention problem, HR has a key role to play inimplementing new performance measures, following a series of health carescandals. However, there are signs that the health service is rising to theoccasion. Many trusts have led the way for employers as a whole in recruitingstaff, mostly nurses, from overseas. Lastyear a plan for an NHS-wide on-line recruitment service was announced. And lastweek Andrew Foster, NHS Confederation policy director for HR, outlinedproposals for a skills escalator where existing staff can be trained in newskills. He even suggested a hospital porter could work his way up to become aconsultant an ambitious agenda given the traditional strict lines ofdemarcation in the medical profession.Andbefore you laugh, it is worth noting that one porter has risen to the role ofchief executive. The NHS does not have a good reputation as a place to work,and HR professionals have a long way to go to put that right. But a willingnessto follow Foster’s lead and be innovative could help solve the problem. Has NHS found cure for staffing malaise?On 30 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img