WHH wins prestigious national award for COVID-19 recruitment experience

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Warrington and Halton NHS Teaching Hospitals Trust (WHH) and NHS Professionals (NHSP) have won the Best Recruitment Experience Award in the Nursing Times Workforce Summit Awards for its rapid response COVID-19 recruitment campaign.

Mirroring the national picture, the Trust was experiencing significant vacancy rates for nursing roles and healthcare assistants. Recognising the need for support to manage workforce challenges during the COVID pandemic, the Trust set up a responsive staffing recruitment process, enabling staff to be ready for deployment to the clinical frontline within 48 hours. 

The initiative was developed in collaboration with NHSP and within ten days a brand-new solution was mobilised, accompanied by a multi-channel marketing campaign and a local call to arms asking student nurses or returners to support the hospitals. 

The campaign attracted 98 new qualified nurses, 38 new HCAs, 133 student nurses resulting in over 4,000 hours worked by rapid response applicants within general, Accident and Emergency department, and theatre settings.  

Kimberley Salmon Jamieson, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at WHH said: 

“During the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic we identified that some members of our team would have to shield, and others isolate so we required a flexible recruitment solution to maintain the highest standards of care across the Trust and to support our frontline staff.

“Our teams worked collaboratively with NHSP, holding regular calls three times daily to ensure we had the right skills in the right areas so we could care for the community of Warrington. I’d like to personally thank all of our staff, and all those professionals we answered our call to join us during this time. 

“One key legacy of the recruitment programme is an increased interest in roles at Warrington and a bank of great nursing staff to help us fill temporary gaps. 

“We are still recruiting nurses and healthcare professionals, so we’d love to hear from anyone who is interested in a career with us. There are multiple routes to a profession in care which is a fantastic career opportunity with team WHH.”

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