A RECENT trip to India to recruit new doctors to work in Worcestershire’s hospitals has been hailed a success, with more than 30 doctors offered posts.
The week-long trip to New Delhi and Bangalore in July, was a key part of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust’s medical recruitment strategy focused on filling consultant and middle-grade vacancies at the Alexandra, Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals.
Recruitment to both medical and nursing vacancies is one of the Trust’s top priorities to improve both the quality and safety of patient care and drive down spending on locum and agency staff.
Di Pugh, deputy director of human resources said: “We carried out 53 interviews and are absolutely delighted we have been able to make 34 offers across a range of medical and surgical specialties – including respiratory, neurology, trauma and orthopaedics and general surgery.
“The calibre of the candidates was exceptional and we are now preparing for the new recruits – both consultants and clinical fellows – to join us.”
Dr Sally Millett, consultant anaesthetist, said: “The trip to India was a first for the Trust. We had three full days of interviewing doctors from all over India including some Skype interviews with those from further afield.
“It is a real win-win – it provides our organisation with much needed doctors while enabling them to come and develop their skills within the NHS.”
The new doctors will participate in a full induction programme when they arrive, which includes access to a mentor and ‘buddy’ who will work to ensure they settle in as quickly as possible.
A combination of factors – including national shortages of medical staff in certain specialties as well as a prolonged period of uncertainty at the Trust – has impacted on the Trust’s ability to recruit doctors and nurses.
A range of recruitment strategies are underway. These include strengthening relationships with local universities and improving training opportunities.
The Trust is already seeing the benefits of these, with medical vacancies reducing from 153 to 110 since May.
The addition of an extra 34 doctors will reduce this even further.