Children’s Ward at Bassetlaw – Update

by Leon Duveen on 24 October, 2017

Last week, I asked Simon Greaves, the Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, what practical help the Council had offered to Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital Trust to help recruit the nurses needed to re-open the Children’s Wars at Bassetlaw Hospital overnight?

Cllr Greaves waffled for a bit about how the Council was working with the Trust and the Bassetlaw CCG to progress recruitment and that most of the contact had been at officer level.  He also stressed that Recruitment was the Trust’s role and that the Council was not in a position to provide housing.

I asked Dr Sewa Singh, Medical Director at the Trust, what help Bassetlaw District Council or Nottinghamshire County Council has offered to the them.  Imagine my surprise when I got a response from Richard Parker, the Trust’s Chief Executive, that he was “not aware that we have had any contact from any council in respect of nurse recruitment, but neither have we sought any.”

Mr Parker went on to say that “the key issue [in nurse recruitment] is that there is so much choice and the vast majority of candidates are newly qualified and looking for experience, big cities or both.”   This is undoubtable true but it means we here in Bassetlaw (the District Council & the Trust especially) have to work harder and more imaginatively to bring them here.

The Trust could arrange for the nurses who came here to spend some time up at Sheffield Children’s Hospital gaining the experience they need or  making sure that they work the Children’s Wards on both sites not just here in Bassetlaw.

The Council could decide that the nurses needed for the Children’s Ward are Key Workers which would entitle them the help in renting or buying properties in the Bassetlaw area to help entice the nurses to come here.  They could make sure that any nurses moving in to our area we welcomed and offer help in sorting out schools and access to other local services.

It isn’t enough for councillors just to give support to the campaign during election periods, I want to see them use their position to actual do something practical help.  It is too late for this year as all the current tranche of nurses will have found jobs but both the Council & the Trust have time to work (and work together) on a package for next year so there is hope for the future.


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