A trust in the West Country is trying to tackle ongoing staffing shortages by tempting former nurses, midwives and health visitors back into healthcare work via a new free programme.
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said its return to practice course offered former nursing staff support, guidance and training to get back to work after a break from the profession.
For those who choose to return to practice following the programme, bursaries of £1,000 for nurses and £500 for midwives and health visitors are available, the trust said.
“We will offer the support, guidance and training needed to develop a fulfilling and exciting career”
Run by the University of the West of England in Bristol, the programme is taking place three times − in October 2014, January 2015 and May 2015.
Attendees must attend six study days including a session in the simulated clinical area to practise clinical skills and a two-day induction with the trust.
Shelly Knight, pre-registration manager at the trust, said: “We know that returning to practice can be daunting, especially after a long break, which is why we will offer the support, guidance and training needed to develop a fulfilling and exciting career.
“We also offer a period of preceptorship with an experienced mentor to help develop confidence, refine skills and teach about our organisational values and behaviours,” she said.
“As well as over 20 wards and departments at the Great Western Hospital, the trust also runs community hospitals and community healthcare services across Wiltshire, so there are a number of career directions to choose,” she added.
The trust is also trying to increase staff numbers via an ongoing recruitment drive, which started in April 2013.
As well as the Great Western Hospital, the trust runs seven community hospitals and community nursing teams across Wiltshire.