Owners of a north-east care home have introduced a new scheme to help combat a nursing shortage – a golden hello.
Barchester Healthcare is trying to recruit a registered nurse at Lethen Park Care Home on Berrymuir Road, Portlethen, but like many other nursing care providers, often encounters a shortage of suitable candidates.
However, the firm is hoping to gain an advantage by offering new staff a “golden hello” – a £2,000 welcome bonus.
It is thought to be the first care firm in the north-east to offer the incentive.
During a Care Inspectorate visit in March monitors asked loved ones of some of the 56 residents for their views on staffing.
The report said: “Three relatives told us they thought there could be a shortage of staff availability at times.”
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Inspectors noted the home was using more permanent staff and less agency staff and was taking great care to ensure any sick leave was covered.
A Barchester Healthcare spokeswoman said: “We aim to recruit the best staff to care for our residents and patients.
“We use a number of approaches to recruit the best nurses; one of which is our golden hello.
“The bonus payment is made in instalments aligned with the new employee’s journey at Barchester; after successful completion of their probationary period and at their first and second year anniversary at Barchester.
“Since the beginning of the scheme 336 nurses (across the UK) have received a golden hello payment.
“Also offered at Barchester is a refer-a-friend scheme, which encourages current Barchester employees to recommend us as an employer to their friends and family.
“This pays out an average of just over £15,000 a month.
“The scheme has seen an increase of participants year on year since it began 2017 – this is a positive reflection of the increased engagement at Barchester and a stepping stone towards Barchester becoming the employer of choice in the sector.”