Headlines: September 22nd, 2000

A major recruitment drive to attract people to work for the NHS in London and the South East is to focus on making the prospect more attractive. The thrust of the drive is focussed at changing the experience of the job as much as relying on a traditional advertising-based recruitment campaign.It will target the disincentives to work, such as lack of childcare and housing. An extra thirty million pounds is being injected into improved childcare. Every Trust is to have a child-care co-ordinator who will act as a parents’ advocate for flexible working patterns NHS managers have also been asked to consider making special efforts to retain staff who may have been planning to retire early.

In addition, an NHS Housing co-ordinator for London has been appointed to help staff find suitable places to live. He has the task of finding an extra 2,000 homes in the area in the next three years.

The NHS is attracting more returners and people coming forward to train for careers in the NHS, but more are needed if the NHS Plan is to be brought fully into action. The increase in nurses especially, is due to a number of initiatives already undertaken, including a zero tolerance campaign, tackling violence against NHS staff, action to tackle racial harassment in the NHS, plus initiatives aimed at promoting equality of opportunity.