Earlier this year, there were more than 100 nursing vacancies but that figures has now dropped to 55.
And a recent report on the government’s use of consultants, interims and agency staff revealed that more than £2 million was spent on UK agency nurses between January and June. Of that, £1.74 million funded nurses for the Hospital. At its peak, 43 agency nurses were working at the facility in March.
Director of Health Rob Sainsbury said 14 permanent members of staff were in the process of being cleared to start working, which would further lower the vacancy rate. In total 531 full-time-equivalent nurses are employed at the hospital.
Mr Sainsbury said: ‘I don’t think there is a hospital around that doesn’t need agency nurses to come in and fill gaps in departments.
‘It is something that happens globally but the numbers are going down and there is an emphasis now on growing our own in Jersey, something which the chief nurse is very keen to do.
‘I don’t think looking to other countries to bring in nurses would be ethical because there is a shortage of nurses in those countries too and they want to train them.’
One of the main issues nurses face when they come to work permanently in Jersey is access to housing, which has regularly been suggested as a barrier.
A scheme that allocates a government official to help new recruits with tasks such as converting car registrations was launched earlier this year, and the benefit is already being seen according to Mr Sainsbury.
He added: ‘There are a lot of things that can be hard in the first year and when you arrive, I found that out.
‘You hear horror stories about certain accommodation, but there are people now who are allocated a few new recruits and they help them with things like registering their car and requirements with their homes.
‘It is beneficial and it is helping people like nurses to settle into their roles.’