Following the announcement last week that, due to recruitment problems, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is closing its IVF and fertility treatment unit at Hartlepool, the RCN can reveal that the trust only has advertised the current vacancy once, in September, and then for only a week, on the NHS Jobs website.
Last week, the trust said: “We have made every effort for some time to recruit, however we cannot continue to provide all aspects of the current service safely due to an inability to recruit embryologists.”
RCN Northern regional director Sarah Dodsworth said: “The trust has stated that one of the main reasons for closing the unit is because they are struggling to recruit to the position of embryologist. And yet, they were successful at recruiting to this post as recently as May 2015."
She added: “Since the post became vacant, they have only advertised the position once, in September, and even then it was only advertised on the NHS jobs website for a week. To abolish a successful, high quality unit, and put a number of our members - who are excellent nurses - at risk of redundancy based on a failure to recruit to a post after advertising it only for a week, is clearly unacceptable."
"We know that the NHS struggles to recruit currently, But no attempt has been made to advertise the post for a reasonable amount of time, or further afield, or to recruit from abroad. The trust must put this decision on hold until it undertakes a full and transparent consultation with the broader community and stakeholders.”