Shropshire’s largest independent care organisation has launched an innovative approach to tackle the region’s growing nursing shortage, an issue facing the social care sector which is reflected across the UK.*
Coverage Care Services, which operates 14 care homes across the county and employs 1,000 staff, has developed a new Nursing Hub to boost opportunities for qualified nurses in the area.
The move comes as the not-for-profit organisation experiences increased demand for its services and celebrates one of its most successful years with all homes in its portfolio now rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by independent care home inspectors.
Samantha Woosnam, head of HR said: “As demand for our services continues to grow we are tasked with making sure we have high quality, trained nurses in place to deliver the exceptional care our residents deserve.
“It’s a careful balancing act but with well-publicised nursing shortages both a local and national problem, there is a need for both a radical and innovative approach to recruitment which addresses some of the key challenges around pay, working hours and flexibility.
“Our new Nursing Hub aims to resolve some of these issues by offering nurses permanent work, guaranteed structured hours, higher rates of pay and paid travel expenses.”
Coverage Care has created two nursing hubs, one covering its homes in Whitchurch, Shrewsbury and Oswestry and the second incorporating homes in the Telford, Bridgnorth and Newport area.
Nurses applying for jobs within a single hub will work core hours in up to three different homes during a contracted working week depending on where support is required.
Mrs Woosnam added: “Restricting the amount of travel time for nurses to just three homes within a set geographical area provides greater continuity from a care perspective for our residents but also reduces the impact of travel distance and costs for nurses.
“The Nursing Hub really is the first step in Shropshire towards addressing nursing shortages and we are confident it will not only speed up the recruitment process but will also continue to drive up standards of care.”
Health and social care charity The King’s Fund recently said that staffing was the ‘make or break’ issue across the social care sector. It’s Director of Policy Sally Warren was commenting on the new State of Care report from the Care Quality Commission.
Just last month, Coverage Care, which has been providing nursing, respite and residential care services for older people and those with dementia for more than 20 years, launched a new specialist recruitment website to assist care staff looking to either start or further their career within the sector.