NURSES who have recently joined a health trust are urging others to try a new recruitment system filling vacancies.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust now holds special recruitment centre days – which are an opportunity for nurses looking for a new role to meet and talk to staff in an informal setting.

The trust has a rolling advert for vacancies and the new measures have helped the trust to slash its vacant jobs over the last year from 99 nurse posts to just five.

Karen Kelsey, senior clinical matron in the emergency care, said: “We've had some real challenges with nursing vacancies in the emergency assessment unit.

“At one point we had a significant amount of nursing vacancies. Recruiting for nurses is a challenge anyway, but there also seemed to be a perception from nurses that it was a really busy and unglamorous place to work.

“We find once we show people what it’s like to work here, they really enjoy their work – it’s a fantastic, supportive team and they have the chance to make a real difference to patient care."