A recruitment campaign has been launched to encourage more people to become community nurses in West Norfolk.
Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust will be running a recruitment day at Knight’s Hill Hotel on Friday from 9.30am to 6.30pm.
Community nurses provide an important service by treating patients in their own homes. Nursing teams in this area on average have 10,500 appointments a month but this has risen to 11,000 in September.
The trust has 52 registered nurses posts in West Norfolk and 32 unregistered posts. There are nine vacancies. Director of nursing, quality and operations Anna Morgan said there is a recognised shortage of nurses in the country.
She said: “A challenge for many health trusts is that it can be difficult to attract younger staff to work in rural areas such as West Norfolk at the beginning of their careers, despite there being a wealth of experience they can gain and real opportunities for them to professionally develop.
“As a result, many nurses working within community services fit into an older age range and will have trained before 1991, so are entitled to retire at age 55, while the number of young people coming through for training continues to decrease.
“It is a very real challenge not just for our trust but for the whole health economy, but we do everything we can to ensure staffing numbers remain safe, that our patients’ needs are well taken care of, and that we support our staff as best we can.”
Dr Sue Crossman, chief officer of West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Like many parts of the country, West Norfolk is experiencing difficulties in recruiting qualified and experienced hospital, community and primary care nurses.”
She said that the CCG is working to make it easier for temporary staff to work across different NHS organisations.
Dr Crossman added: “We are planning to launch a shared recruitment portal.”