THE RECRUITMENT of seven new nursing staff has been hailed as “good news” by health bosses.
The new posts were created following a Nursing Workforce Review which was carried out by members of the health authority’s Operational Division Committee in April.
The review identified three wards out of a total of 27 wards/departments that needed additional staff following the relocation of maternity, A&E and other services to the new wing at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.
At yesterday’s (Wednesday) meeting of the Operational Division Committee, Caroline Inwood, director of nursing, told members the findings were presented to the NHS Fife Workforce Review and the recommendations and priorities identified were supported.
There are 1691 nursing, midwifery and health care support staff employed by NHS Fife.
But while Ms Inwood reported there are 66 permanent nursing staff vacancies, Dave Stewart, chairman, stressed that these jobs are currently being filled by nursing bank staff.
He said: “We don’t want to give the wrong impression that we have 66 vacancies and no-one doing these jobs, we have been covering them with bank staff while we are continuing to recruit for permanent nursing staff.
“We will always have vacancies because we have a low staff turnover but the number will come down.
“The 66 vacancies might be filled with some of the bank staff, but also by staff who have been re-deployed from other areas or employed from outside.
“The seven new nursing posts are good news and they will improve the quality of care we provide.
“Through the ongoing recruitment of permanent jobs we are helping to reduce stress on nurses.”
He added: “It has been particularly difficult because of the changes we have had to implement this year, but by getting the vacancies filled it will help to reduce stress as well as the levels of sickness and absenteeism.”