Nursing Numbers Continue To Grow At North Cumbria’s Hospitals

The nursing workforce at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is continuing to grow, with almost 80 new permanent nurses joining teams in Carlisle and Whitehaven in the last six months alone.

The ongoing expansion of nursing teams in North Cumbria remains a key focus for the Trust and forms a core part of plans to deliver safe and effective nursing care at all times and continuously improve quality of care for patients. 

Permanent new nurses are being recruited into all specialties including A&E, theatres, paediatrics and medical and surgical wards. Since September 2013, 78 registered nurses have been recruited to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, with 15 nurses starting since January 2014.

Three of the Trust’s latest recruits are based on the Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU) in the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and help assess patients coming to hospital via A&E and as emergency GP admissions.

Staff nurse Aaron Tate qualified as a nurse last year after completing his training in North Tyneside General Hospital – part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and then securing a permanent role within North Cumbria. 

In his new role, Aaron works between EAU and A&E and is thriving being part of the busiest part of the hospital. He said: “Our Emergency Admissions Unit helps take the pressure off A&E and means we can quickly triage and diagnose patients who are coming to us as emergency admissions.  We have a very fast turnaround of patients and it’s a very exciting place to start my nursing career with the support of experienced and talented nursing colleagues around me.”

Debbie Nelson was also appointed as a staff nurse after completing her nursing degree at Manchester University last year.  Originally from Workington and following training placements at Manchester Royal Infirmary, The Christie Hospital and the University Hospital of South Manchester, she applied to join North Cumbria as a medical nurse and was appointed at the same time as Aaron in September.

Debbie commented: “The recruitment process for North Cumbria was excellent and I was given the opportunity to choose my preferred area of work.  EAU was top of my list and I was taken to the unit to have a look round and meet everybody. It made me feel much more relaxed on my first day because I had already seen where I was going to be working and met the people I would be working with.”

Staff nurse Hannah Godfrey relocated to Carlisle from her home town of Edinburgh only last week to start work in the Cumberland Infirmary. Hannah was also impressed at how quick the recruitment process was. She said: “I started to look outside of Scotland for a nursing job because I really wanted to work in emergency care and there were no opportunities locally. When I came to Carlisle for my interview, it was the first time I had ever visited the city and I was very impressed with what I saw.   

“Everybody has been very welcoming at North Cumbria and I am very excited to be joining the organisation at such an important time.  I love the pressure of working in emergency care and am really looking forward to making a difference and playing my part in the Trust’s improvement plans.”

Liz Klein, matron for emergency care said: “We are delighted to welcome our new nursing recruits onto EAU where they are all already making a real difference.

“By its very nature emergency care is always a busy environment and we have been actively working to recruit more nursing staff to emergency care across both of our hospital sites, in order to further strengthen our teams and build resilience.

“Our priority is to provide safe, effective and responsive care for our patients at all times and we recognise that the best way to do this is by having a stable workforce.

“Providing compassionate care is also really important and we have been working closely with our ‘buddy’ Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to improve our recruitment processes to implement new values-based recruitment methods for all of our new staff.”