Nursing shortage ongoing but ‘candidates selected’

DIRECTOR of Human Resources Stuart Hampson has assured that candidates have now been selected for vacancies in five established nursing roles.

Penguin News questioned Mr Hampson this week about the ongoing problem of recruiting nurses at the hospital. 
The vacancies are currently being covered by locum staff said Mr Hampson:  “We have selected candidates to fill all these and subject to each candidate being able to secure a work permit, all the post will be filled by March 2019. One of our other colleagues is leaving in April 2019 and we have also selected a candidate to take over this role too.”
Mr Hampson said there were many factors that impact on a candidate actually arriving in the Falkland Islands to take up their role with FIG. “There is no one key issue,” he said, “but they tend to be linked to, health, a change in family circumstances, a work permit not being granted and other employment opportunities. I do think it is fair to say nursing recruitment has been affected more than most in this area. These posts are recognised as hard to fill. In the past 18 months we have been able to secure suitable candidates for each vacant post but sadly a number have had to withdraw due to a range of personal issues.”
He added: “We work hard to ensure that once an offer has been made and accepted by a candidate, we do all we can to keep the candidate and their family members engaged during the work permit application process and the time leading up to the candidates’ planned arrival date.”
Although some candidates’ personal circumstances mean that this process is plain sailing, for others there are issues that need to be resolved before they travel to the Islands said Mr Hampson. “Sadly in some cases (not specific to nursing) these circumstances lead to a candidate having to withdraw.”
Asked what steps were being taken to improve recruitment of nursing staff. Mr Hampson said: “...The FIG recruitment microsite (www.jobs.gov.fk) has enabled us to have a first class online recruitment platform for the promotion of all overseas vacancies. We are now developing this for local jobs too to give interested individuals even more choice in terms of the way they apply for local jobs.”
He said the FIG online recruitment platform has, “for the first time enabled FIG to have a worldwide reach in terms of the promotion of vacancies, without the reliance on high-cost third party advertising. It also make the process of recruitment far more streamlined and in-line with potential candidates expectations.”