Affordable homes key to trust’s hiring drive

first_img Comments are closed. HammersmithHospitals NHS Trust is considering investing in new flat pack housing toprovide its healthcare staff with affordable homes.TheLivein Quarters, which were featured at the recent Ideal Homes Exhibition, canbe swiftly erected and cost about £70 a week to rent and £65,000 to buy.IanYoung, director of HR at the trust, told Personnel Today that providingaffordable housing for employees is a key part of its recruitment policy.”Themain problem in recruiting here is that London is a very expensive place tolive and work, so as an employer we have to help staff with housing,” hesaid. “The Livein Quarters are something we are looking at as part of thesolution. Most importantly it gets staff onto the housing ladder, and that iskey in London.”Youngconfirmed the trust is currently searching for available land for the LiveinQuarters.Hesaid the trust is also in the process of building a range of modern,purpose-built housing as part of its drive to help staff. “We are buildingnew accommodation for staff and have just sold three tower blocks to a housingassociation which will deal with the rent for us. We also have some additionalon-site nursing accommodation,” he added.Providinghousing helps Hammersmith hospitals attract staff from abroad – a policy whichhas significantly reduced nursing shortages. The number of nursing vacancies atthe trust has been cut from 25 per cent two years ago to 10 per cent this yearand overseas recruitment has played a big part in this. Thetrust, which recruited 189 overseas nurses last year, gives foreign recruits aninformation pack on living in London, ranging from banking to details ofoverseas communities in the city, to help them feel at home. “Youhave to put in place a whole raft of measures for staff coming from a differentculture. We spend a lot of time as part of the induction process trying to helpthem integrate,” said Young.Vacanciesare advertised on the trust’s website. It also uses overseas recruitmentagencies to find nursing talent from around the world. Young said agencies areused to targeting possible candidates, then the nurses are interviewed using avideo link or over the telephone.Thetrust, which has a turnover of £300m, has 180 vacancies among its 1,900 nursingstaff.”We’vehad recruitment problems similar to other hospitals around the country. We’restarting to fill most of the posts and the number of leavers is dropping,”said Young. “We rarely advertise individual nursing positions. We justadvertise the organisation and the hospitals to try to create a constantconveyor belt of candidates.”Althoughthe nursing crisis may be over, Young predicts there will be staff shortagesfor posts like radiographers, where there is a 35 per cent unfilled vacancyrate at Hammersmith.”Thesetypes of post are not rewarded enough. Candidates have good enoughqualifications to enter any medical field and shortages are already forcing usto look overseas,” he explained.Youngsaid the trust is also improving internal communication through the intranet.He introduced a chatroom on the intranet for staff to quiz the chief executiveand the initiative has proved so popular that he is set to take questionshimself.”Itis very difficult to manage communications in such a large organisation, butpeople were very receptive to this. It gives staff the chance to get animmediate response,” said Young.Thetrust is now planning more sessions and hopes to introduce a webcam to make theprocess more personal.ByRoss Wigham Affordable homes key to trust’s hiring driveOn 2 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

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