Survey to commence into recruitment and retention of healthcare workers

A multi-national project, which aims to find solutions to the persistent problem of difficulties in recruiting and retaining high quality healthcare workers for the remote rural areas of Northern Europe, is set to move into a new phase of gathering important information on key issues affecting recruitment and retention.

NHS Western Isles is the Lead Partner for the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) project Recruit and Retain (Recruitment and Retention of Health Care Workers and Public Service Sector Workers in Remote Rural Areas), which was launched in Stornoway last October. The Recruit and Retain project partners have designed a survey questionnaire to gain information about t recruitment and retention in each partner country at the present time.

The data gathered will provide important information on the motivating and de-motivating factors affecting the recruitment of frontline healthcare workers, as well as information on professional aspirations, professional relationships, and transition from an urban to a rural setting, training, workload and expectations. The information will be used as the evidence base to support the development of products and services aimed at solving the burgeoning difficulties of recruiting and retaining staff in remote rural areas.

NHS Western Isles will send the questionnaire out to 1,000 people, and hopes to get a 60 per cent response rate. With eight separate partners from seven different countries doing the same, we expect to get over 4,000 responses, making this the biggest survey of its kind ever.

From September 2012, questionnaires will be sent electronically to doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, dentists and other healthcare workers.  Medical and nursing students training in the University of Stirling or the University of Aberdeen along with healthcare staff who have recently left a position in a remote and rural area will also receive questionnaires to complete. In addition to NHS Western Isles based staff we will, in collaboration with the other Scottish Recruit and Retain partner, send the questionnaire out to an urban based reference group from the North East of Scotland.

Project Director, Professor Andrew Sim, said: “We would encourage everyone who receives a questionnaire to complete it. It’s a straightforward survey which should take up no more than 15 minutes of your time. It will help us to develop recommendations to improve local, national and international remote and rural recruitment and retention. On behalf of the project, I would like to thank participants in advance for their valuable input.”

NHS Western Isles’ Recruit and Retain partners are the Agency for Health Protection in Nuuk, Greenland, FSA Akureyri Hospital in Akureyri, Iceland, Finnmarkssykehuset, Norway, the County Council of Västerbotten, Umeå, Sweden, University of Aberdeen, Centre for Rural Health in Inverness, Scotland, Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Sudbury, Canada and Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT) in Londonderry, representing both Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Further notes:

The Recruit and Retain project is resourced through the European Regional Development Fund.

For further information please contact:
Deanne Gilbert
Ext: 2460

Published: 28/08/2012


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