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Membership Matters

Innovative approach helps grow nursing workforce


In the current climate it is estimated that the NHS needs to fill around 40,000 nurse positions across the UK, and with an 8.3 percent rise in the number of nursing vacancies in the last year, the competition to recruit has never been so fierce.

Finding a solution to the ever increasing recruitment problem is no easy task, but over the past three years the Chief Nurse team at the Trust has been working tirelessly to buck the trend.   Closely monitoring the nurse staffing position on a weekly basis, the team continue to look at new ways to both recruit and retain nurses and healthcare assistants across the Trust.

Becky Hoskins, Assistant Director of Nursing Workforce, explained: “We’ve given a lot of thought to every aspect of the job and as a result developed new roles and ways of working. Making sure that our newly qualified nurses feel supported, being flexible with shift patterns, and creating opportunities for nurses and healthcare assistants to broaden their knowledge and skills are all some of the things we have introduced.”

Over the last eighteen months 47 staff have been recruited to a new role of associate practitioner with another 12 due to start in April. Associate practitioners work with nurses in York and Scarborough hospitals and gain extra skills to work alongside nurses to ensure that patients are getting the best care. The role provides a valuable addition to nursing teams while offering real career advancement opportunities.

The Trust was also successful in becoming a pilot for the introduction of trainee nursing associates during 2017 supporting them through a two year academic and clinical programme. They work within both acute and community settings to achieve a nursing associate qualification.

Becky added: “We have strengthened the Trust’s commitment to delivering an innovative nursing workforce across our organisation. The support from our clinical teams across the Trust has been instrumental in our achievements so far, and I look forward to continuing to build the workforce fit for now and for the future.”

Looking to the future the Chief Nurse team has been out and about at universities and schools promoting both the Trust as a great place to work, and encouraging young students who are considering their career choices about the opportunities within the NHS.

The team has played a key role in organising the successful recruitment market place events which have boosted recruitment for hard to fill positions in not only nursing, but other functions such as portering.

“We have strengthened the Trust’s commitment to delivering an innovative nursing workforce across our organisation. The support from our clinical teams across the Trust has been instrumental in our achievements so far, and I look forward to continuing to build the workforce fit for now and for the future.”

What have we done?

  • Streamlined the recruitment process for nurses - the number of newly registered nurses recruited into the Trust has increased
  • New preceptorship programme to ensure that newly registered nurses working both within the hospital and in community services are supported
  • Providing a ‘transfer window’ to enable nurses and healthcare assistants to request moves into new teams to broaden their knowledge and skills - 33 applications received this year
  • Nurse bank workers fast tracked into permanent jobs within the Trust - 12 applications received in January 2018 alone
  • Associate practitioner roles created - 59 new staff by April 2018
  • Healthcare assistant open days encourages well informed candidates and improves staff retention
  • Recruitment market place provides information and recruits to hard to fill positions

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Visiting cancelled

Due to the increasing number of cases of coronavirus across the UK, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made the decision to cancel all visiting to all its hospital sites in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

There are three exemptions to the ruling which are for one parent of a sick child under 18, for the partner of a woman giving birth and end of life patients at the discretion of the ward sister.

We would ask people to respect this decision and to treat our staff, who will be enforcing the visiting restrictions, with courtesy and respect.  For more information visit our website.

Outpatient appointments

We know that NHS services will come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and as a Trust we need to redirect staff, free up staff for refresher training and carry out any works as necessary, so we are able to maximise capacity for patients for when the number of infections peak.  We also need to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.

To do this, with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, along with other trusts in the Humber Coast and Vale partnerships, we have made the collective decision to suspend all non-urgent routine outpatient appointments for at least three months.  Urgent and emergency cases and cancer appointments will be carrying on as normal.

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your understanding.  We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried but please not contact the hospital as we will be contacting everyone directly affected in the coming days and weeks.

If you do not receive a letter or a phone call from the hospital, please turn up for your scheduled appointment as normal unless you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cold, flu or norovirus in which case you should contact us to cancel your appointment by clicking here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.  After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.  Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.