More nurses recruited in battle to reopen Midhurst Community Hospital

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A recruitment day organised in Midhurst by the NHS has gone some way to finding nurses after a staff shortage led to the closure of the Bailey Unit at Midhurst Community Hospital.

The event attracted people from across Surrey and Sussex including five registered nurses interested in taking on part-time positions at the hospital. It is understood three of the registered nurses were able to be interviewed on the day, and have since been offered roles. Further interviews are scheduled this week.

Susan Marshall, SCT chief nurse, said: “The effort that has gone into this recruitment drive has been huge and I would like to thank all our staff, the Friends of Midhurst Community Hospital, and the community for their support and hard work at this difficult time.

“The recruitment day was a success and we have been able to make some part-time job offers. We are hopeful these will be accepted and, depending on how many hours the new nurses are looking for, we shouldn’t be far from having the nine full-time registered nurses we need to safely staff the ward.”

The inpatient ward, caring mostly for elderly people, was temporarily closed because a shortage of registered nurses was putting patient safety at risk. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCT), the NHS organisation that runs the unit, had identified ‘significant challenges’ staffing the Bailey Unit over many months, echoing the national shortage of nurses.

Heading in to the recruitment day the ward was four short of a full complement of nine full-time registered nurses.

Those who attended the open day were able to find out more about the roles available, meet existing team members, and get to know the area. Nurses with the required qualifications were able to fill out an application and be interviewed on the same day.

The open day was part of the new ‘Calling All Nurses’ campaign launched by the SCT and the Friends of Midhurst Community Hospital. The campaign includes adverts across local newspapers, Facebook adverts which have been seen by 22,000 people and over 500 ‘calling all nurses’ posters distributed by the Friends.

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