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West Herts is THE place to be for nurses! Significant and critical milestone achieved in reducing adult nurse vacancies

Posted: 5 September 2019

Picture of the chief executive and nurses

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) is thrilled to announce that it has successfully recruited enough nurses to fill its long-standing band 5 adult nurse vacancies meaning the trust’s vacancy rate has plummeted from 28% in 2016 to 0% in this area!

The trust, as part of its improved performance over the past couple of years, has worked hard to proactively fill the nursing gap which stood at 240 vacancies in 2016. These initiatives include working closely with universities to drive local recruitment, improving the joining experience for new starters and innovatively recruiting nurses both domestically and from overseas.

 Christine Allen, chief executive at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, says: “I am delighted that we have recently reached 0% nursing vacancies for band 5 adult nurses. This is such a significant and critical milestone for us to reach as a trust. Having fully established nursing teams is integral to providing safe and effective care. It demonstrates that when we come together as one team, a team that recruits innovatively, a team that’s truly committed to developing staff and a team that engages and inspires staff to do their best and treat patients with open hearts and open minds, we can achieve anything!”

 The trust’s commitment to creating an organisation that engages and inspires staff doesn’t stop once nurses have been recruited. Many new staff participate in the hugely successful development programmes offered by WHHT which enable them to pursue their careers whilst being supported in their roles.

 The trust, which covers Watford General, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans City Hospital, employs staff from over 78 different nationalities. Having such a globally diverse workforce promotes a culture that is inclusive and non-judgemental, with a real ‘one-team’ attitude. The trust highly values ALL its employees and welcomes staff from a wide variety of backgrounds.

 Morale is ‘significantly higher’ at West Herts than at other comparable trusts, according to the latest national NHS staff survey which is another reason why nurses are keen to join and stay. A happy workforce is directly linked to improved patient outcomes so staff are encouraged to be proud of their work and celebrate their achievements. This helps us provide the very best care to every patient, every day.


Notes to editors

  1. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: For out of hours media enquiries please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  2. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
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