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Leeds trusts consider combined nurse workforce in face of shortages

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NHS organisations in Leeds are considering a shared workforce plan to tackle nursing shortages, which includes looking at integrating community and practice nursing.

Those behind the plans said staff being “able to work more flexibly across organisational boundaries” was one of the proposals under consideration.

”We are trying to reduce the number of unnecessary admissions to hospital…and that might mean nurses starting to work in different environments”

Claire Linley

The proposals are being looked at by Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust and three clinical commissioning groups - Leeds South and East, Leeds North and Leeds West.

The group came together 18 months ago and has since widened its remit to consider recent national developments such as the impact of Brexit and the introduction of nursing associates.

Around 10% of nursing posts in Leeds are vacant, but this differs across organisations. It is estimated by the Royal College of Nursing that there are currently 40,000 nurse vacancies across England.

In an interview with Health Service Journal, Claire Linley, lead nursing officer at the three CCGs, said organisations were looking at a three-to-five year plan to tackle vacancies. She highlighted the project was in its early stages.

“We are trying to reduce the number of unnecessary admissions to hospital, safer and faster discharge, and that might mean nurses starting to work in different environments,” said Ms Linley.

“That could be either between nurses in general practice and community nurses seeing greater integration, particularly for some more specialist pathways.

“It could be between mental health and the acute trust and primary and community care. But this is a level of detail we haven’t got to yet,” she told HSJ.

NHS trusts were already attending university fairs together to attract student nurses to the city rather than to individual organisations, added Ms Linley.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • We should be cautious about the intention behind this in case it is an excuse to move nursing staff here, there and everywhere - definitely not the way to retain staff!

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