Can you help plug Pilgrim’s gap in nursing?

Pictured (from left) Helen Wilkinson - tissue viability support nurse, Zoe Heaton - deputy sister on ward 5B, Sharon Baxter - deputy sister on ward 5B, Mark Collier - tissue viability nurse consultant.
Pictured (from left) Helen Wilkinson - tissue viability support nurse, Zoe Heaton - deputy sister on ward 5B, Sharon Baxter - deputy sister on ward 5B, Mark Collier - tissue viability nurse consultant.

The number of vacancies for registered nurses at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital has risen, prompting a renewed call for potential staff to get in touch.

Last month, The Standard reported that there were 58 vacancies for registered nurses at the Sibsey Road site.

At that time, the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), which runs the hospital, said a recruitment drive was under way to try to plug the gap. However, despite those efforts, the figure rose to 62 by the end of March.

On the increase, Tina White, deputy director of operations for ULHT, told The Standard: “People naturally leave the trust every month.

“It’s just we can’t act as quickly as people leave. Our nurses only have to give four weeks’ notice, so it starts to build a gap very quickly.”

Pilgrim Hospital currently employs 794 registered nurses and midwives, the bulk of its 1,455 clinical staff.

Ms White said one of the reasons for the shortfall was the challenge in attracting staff to such an isolated area as Boston.

With this in mind, she said, efforts are being made to re-connect with ex-nurses already living in the area. This is alongside planned overseas recruitment drives and training taking place at the University of Lincoln.

A recruitment open day was held on Saturday at Pilgrim Hospital, aimed partly at nurses who may have allowed their registration to lapse or others who could adapt qualifications gained abroad.

Ms White said the trust had also identified a number of potential new starters during a recruitment drive for health professionals after a number of nurses who qualified overseas applied for roles.

She said: “There’s probably a belief out there amongst people because they have worked in another country and qualified in another country they can’t come and work in the UK.”

Anyone interested in joining the team at Pilgrim Hospital, should call Rachelle Cryan, recruitment lead on 01205 364801 ext 6298 or email rachelle.cryan@ulh.nhs.uk

Ms White said: “We are a trust that is just out of special measures, we have got a very good CQC report for the site. We are a very dynamic forward-thinking team.”