OVER a thousand new doctors and nurses have been recruited across Oldham and neighbouring boroughs.

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group has been strengthening its workforce through a number of successful recruitment drives which has resulted in over 371 new doctors and 786 new qualified nurses in the last year.

The staff are now working at the Alliance’s four care organisations in Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, North Manchester and Salford.

A push for more nurses is in full swing with the group keen to attract new staff through another four new recruitment events scheduled for October and November.

The Alliance says a great deal of hard work has been put into strengthening the workforce across the organisation over the last six months.

During the summer the Alliance held nurse recruitment open days at all of its hospital sites.

Almost 200 nurses and midwives attended the first event in May and a total of 125 job offers were made.

Nicola Firth, director of nursing and acting chief officer at the Oldham Care Organisation said: “We have made significant progress over recent months in reducing vacancy rates. Later this year we will be welcoming around 70 newly qualified nurses.”

Tyrone Roberts, director of nursing at the Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation said: “Over the last year we have managed to reduce the nurse vacancy rate at Fairfield General Hospital by seven percent and we now have more nurses per ward than last year.”

Eight new qualified nurses started work there in June, another 18 nurses start later in the year, and 14 nursing associates start in January.

The Northern Care Alliance is made up of two Trusts, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

It operates five hospitals and community services, Salford Royal, The Royal Oldham, Fairfield General in Bury, Rochdale Infirmary and North Manchester General.

Rachel Johnson Purdy is an advanced nurse practitioner (ANP) in the Urgent Care Centre at Rochdale Infirmary. Rachel’s journey into nursing started with her own experience as a patient’s family member.

The care received from the nursing team was a massive support to all involved and this inspired her to start what would become a fantastic demonstration of determination and dedication to the profession.

She said: “The support and opportunities to develop at the Northern Care Alliance are amazing.

"I’ve been so lucky and had some brilliant medical mentors throughout my time. Through the support of the organisation, I’ve obtained my prescribing qualification, my first class (Hons) degree and my masters, not bad for a girl who left school with nothing! You can do whatever you want to do as long as you’re determined to do it.”

Nursing recruitment events are being held on:

• 6 October – Fairfield General Hospital/Rochdale Infirmary

• 20 October – North Manchester General Hospital

• 30 October – Salford Royal

• 3 November – The Royal Oldham Hospital

You can find out more about recruitment on Facebook @NCAllianceJobs and Twitter @NCAlliance_Jobs.