NURSES out of work were given a new opportunity at Worthing Hospital through a recruitment drive held by Western Sussex Hospitals Trust.
The drive recruited 30 new nurses for both Worthing and St Richard’s hospitals, 16 of which were newly qualified nurses.
In a climate of budget and NHS spending cuts, the recruitment drive sought to save money by reducing the amount spent on employing agency nurses, and employing full-time staff instead.
Acute medicine matron at Worthing Hospital, Katrina O’Shea, said that not only would the recruitment drive save money, but it will also improve the quality of care received by patients.
“With agencies, we have to pay both the agency and the nurse,” she said. “While the agency nurses are fully qualified, they do not know the hospital or the ward staff as well as a full-time employee would. By having more full-time nurses, we will be delivering a better quality of care for our patients, which is the most important thing.”
Those interested in the position first submitted their application online, before being shortlisted and invited to the recruitment day at the hospital last Wednesday. Applicants were welcomed and interviewed on the spot, and were told if they had been successful by the end of their visit.
Katrina said staff were extremely pleased with the success of the event.
“We have had people from as far as Oxford and Southampton apply,” she said. “About half of them have been students, which is great, because they have the knowledge on the latest developments in nursing. It’s a very exciting time for us – it’s great to have so many new faces on board, and we are happy to be able to give all these nurses a chance to do what they trained for three years for.”
Kelly Cole, 31, came from Portsmouth to apply for the job.
She said: “I have recently qualified and it’s really encouraging to see recruitment drives like this one. I applied because it’s a nice area to work in and I think this process is really good – it’s given me a chance to get a feel for the hospital.”