Incentive scheme to aid hospital recruitment

Hospitals in East Yorkshire are taking a novel approach in a bid to attract staff into hard to fill vacancies.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, covering Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, has launched a ‘Refer a Friend’ scheme similar to those used by retailers.

Existing members of staff will be paid up to £500 if they are able to help fill roles which are traditionally difficult to recruit to, such as qualified nursing posts, Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs), and Therapy Radiographers.

Under the terms of the scheme, the referring member of staff receives £100 if the friend or relative they have recommended is successfully recruited and stays in post for three months. A further £400 is payable after the new recruit has been in post for six months and has successfully passed their probationary period.

Simon Nearney, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development for the Trust says:

“Like every other NHS organisation across the country, we want to attract the best candidates. Nationally, there are shortages of staff in key areas such as theatres, nursing and therapies, where we are all competing for the same people.

“In order for us to provide the best possible care we can to our patients, we need to be appropriately staffed, so our ‘Refer a Friend’ scheme will be piloted initially for six months as a means of helping us recruit to posts which we’ve traditionally struggled to fill.

“While there is, of course, a financial implication for us in the first instance, if this scheme is successful, it will actually benefit us longer term as it will mean we’re spending less on agency and temporary staff and creating a more stable workforce.”

Simon adds:

“We’ve done a lot over the past couple of years to try and attract people to Hull to work, most notably through our award-winning Remarkable People, Extraordinary Place campaign, and we’re also doing a lot of work with schools and colleges to try and grow our own local healthcare staff of the future.

“For now, we need to look at different ways of attracting the professionals we need and our staff, with their enthusiasm and their recommendations, are the best asset we have to help us do this.”