Yorkshire nurses offered pay boost to pick up shifts at short staffed hospitals

Nurses working at North Yorkshire hospitals dealing with staff shortages have been offered a 20 per cent pay boost if they pick up extra shifts.

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is struggling with a staff shortage

York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the offer is in place until August 15, because a number of nurses are self isolating, off sick or on annual leave.

The trust is also piloting a scheme where staff who are ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app do not have to self isolate if they are fully vaccinated and test negative on a daily basis.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“The trust is offering a 20 per cent uplift on all shifts between July 24 until August 15 to all bank workers, both substantive and bank only, who are registered on the nurse bank,” a trust spokeswoman said.

From August 16, everyone who is fully vaccinated will be exempt from self isolation if they test negative and the Government has resisted pressure to bring that rule change forward.

During a trust meeting this week, Polly McMeekin, director of workforce, said there are “significantly” more staff absences now than there were during the peak of the second wave, in January, but the pay increase has led to a “real leap in uptake”.

“We are trying really hard not to ask staff to cancel their annual leave and we are trying to protect training where we possibly can,” she added.

“We are trying not to apply too much pressure to staff working overtime, because they are exhausted.”

Wendy Scott, chief operating officer at the trust, warned that some elective surgery and clinics could be cancelled as a result of staffing pressures.

“We are at a point where we are making decisions about cancelling a relatively small number of elective procedures and routine clinics so that we can redeploy staff into clinical areas where there’s the greatest need,” she said.

The latest Government figures show the trust was treating 35 patients for Covid-19 at the hospital on July 27 and three were on ventilation. The number of patients peaked at 215 on January 26.

The Government has increased NHS workers' pay by 3 per cent but the Royal College of Nursing is now campaigning for a fully-funded 12.5 per cent pay rise for all nursing staff.

The union claims that with inflation the 3 per cent rise is a real-terms pay cut and leaves experienced nursing staff £200 worse off than they were a decade ago.