The majority of HR directors plan to ramp up the recruitment of nurses this year as many admit their organisations lack the staff to meet demand.
Senior managers responding to a survey carried out by Nursing Times’ sister title HSJ have also revealed plans to recruit staff from overseas due to UK shortages.
The survey reveals the impact on HR departments of the Francis report into the Mid Staffordshire scandal and the subsequent focus on patient safety.
Almost 90% of HR managers have reviewed their whistleblowing policies since February 2013 and 36% reported a rise in whistleblowing.
Just over half of respondents said they were not convinced their organisation had sufficient staffing levels and 69% said they expected to increase nursing numbers over the year. This rose to 91 per cent for acute trusts.
Last year Nursing Times revealed a third of acute trusts had been forced to recruit from overseas to fill nursing vacancies.
This trend looks set to continue with more than half of respondents to the survey saying they planned to recruit staff from overseas over the next 12 months. This again rose for acute trusts - to 82%.
The majority planned to recruit nurses and doctors from Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Italy as well as further afield.
Among those increasing staff, nearly a quarter said they aimed to fill more than 50 jobs.
The barometer also revealed a perception of worsening staff morale among HR directors compared with the previous survey in May 2013. Eighteen per cent said morale was poor or very poor compared with 12 per cent last May.