FOUNDATION trusts in England plan to recruit an additional 1,273 junior doctors in 2013-2014 in a bid to raise care standards.
England’s 145 foundation trusts will hire 10,000 additional staff in the coming year, including 1,134 consultants and 4,133 nurses. The figures were revealed in the Annual Plan Review published by Monitor, which regulates trusts.
The move is a response to recent reviews of hospitals with higher than expected mortality rates and the expectation of tougher quality inspections. The extra jobs will cost £500 million, or two per cent of staffing costs, and will be funded from a £4.5 billion budget surplus.
However, Monitor said the recruitment drive is being used by trusts as “a short term fix”, rather than something that will be repeated long term. The report states that foundation trusts still plan to cut 30,000 jobs between 2014 and 2016, mainly through a four per cent drop in nursing staff and a reduction of non-clinical workers.
Monitor chief executive David Bennett said: “We are pleased the sector is investing some of its surplus in increasing resources to improve patient care and hope this will relieve some of the operational pressures the NHS is currently facing.”
The regulator said trusts would find it “challenging” to reduce staff beyond 2014 and questioned whether there are enough qualified people to fill the required jobs. It is also sceptical about the trusts’ projected profit margins from 2014-2016 which it described as “optimistic”.
Monitor’s Annual Plan Review