Lack of children’s hospice nurses could have ‘catastrophic consequences across North and Central London’
19 JUNE 2019
Noah's Ark highlights the challenges that children’s hospices face in recruiting nurses
Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice has argued that unless the challenges in nurse recruitment are tackled, it could impact the care that is being provided.
Julie Quinn, Director of Care for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, said:
“The recruitment of professional nurses and care staff is amongst my key priorities. If we don’t find ways to attract the best people, the consequences could be devastating for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families.
“Across North and Central London and Hertsmere – mirroring the nationwide trend - many institutions are struggling to find care staff. But it’s even harder in the children’s hospice movement because it requires a very particular set of skills and characteristics. We’re recruiting for more posts, with fewer applicants, than three years ago and the trends are certainly set in the wrong direction. We know that fantastic people are out there – it’s just finding them quickly that’s problematic.”
“We’re addressing this skills shortage through our innovative partnerships with hospitals and NHS trusts. By creating a jointly-funded workforce we share staff, which improves the quality of care delivered to children and families, whilst up-skilling the staff by broadening their professional experiences”.
Noah’s Ark has seen a rise in referrals and in the complexity of patients. The heavier workload has not made recruiting nursing staff any easier – the hospice continues to face challenges in the number of good quality applicants they are receiving and the length of time taken to recruit and train the right staff.
However, the hospice is confident that the skills shortage will be addressed through the partnerships that it’s striking up with hospitals, trusts and other care institutions. By instigating joint recruitment, shared staffing and linked training and development, Noah’s Ark is creating a new model for children’s hospices to tackle the major recruitment challenges.