'Be ready to benefit from nurse pledge', King's Lynn hospital bosses urged
Hospital managers in Lynn are being urged to prepare a robust case to ensure they get their share of the Government’s pledged boost to nursing staff numbers.
The promise of 50,000 more nurses for the NHS was one of the most high-profile, and controversial, pledges of last year’s General Election campaign.
A meeting of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s board of directors on Tuesday was told that the proportion of clinical vacancies had fallen from 14.5 per cent to 10.2 per cent.
But chairman Professor Steve Barnett wondered whether that might undermine the site’s case for a share of any additional recruitment.
He asked: “Could we be putting down an early marker for these extra nurses?
“We need to make sure our needs are read.”
Vice-chairman Alan Brown pointed out that around 20,000 of the pledge was covered by the retention of staff already working in the NHS.
But chief executive Caroline Shaw said more still needed to be done to make the profession more attractive both to staff who have already left and those who might be about to depart in the near future.
She added: “We have got quite an elderly population of nurses and a huge number are coming up to retirement.”
Earlier in the meeting, Mrs Shaw thanked the newly-elected North West Norfolk MP James Wild for his pledge of support for the bid to secure funding for substantial redevelopment of the Gayton Road site, following what she described as “fabulous” meetings.
Last November, Mrs Shaw warned that the hospital, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, needed substantial re-development and had experienced long periods of underinvestment.
Mrs Shaw told the meeting Mr Wild had toured the QEH and seen its new same-day emergency care unit and discharge lounge.
More by this authorAllister Webb