A multi-national project aimed at finding 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.
The Centre for Rural Health and NHS Education for Scotland, representing the Highland region are one of eight partners working on 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 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, 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. The Highland partner is currently sending the questionnaire out to a sample of NHS Highland staff and is hoping to get a high response rate. With eight separate partners from seven different countries doing the same we expect to get over 4000 responses, making this the biggest survey of its kind ever.
Questionnaires are being 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. To gain an urban comparison for the study, the questionnaire is also being sent to staff in 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.”
Recruit and Retain partners are NHS Western Isles, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Canada and Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT) in Londonderry, representing both Ireland and Northern Ireland. For more information see the project website: www.recruitandretain.eu
The project partners are also interested in getting views from those no longer working in NHS Highland, if you are interested in participating you can do so by getting in touch with Barbara Isaacs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01463 255902.
Notes for Editors:
The Recruit and Retain project is resourced through the European Regional Development Fund.