8 Aug 2018

'We've already started recruiting' - DHB spokesperson

9:52 am on 8 August 2018

Under pressure to prove they can employ an extra 500 nurses to fill staffing shortages throughout the country, a DHBs' spokesperson says they have already begun recruiting.

No caption

Photo: 123rf

The nurses union and DHBs yesterday settled their long-running dispute over pay and working conditions.

The agreement includes pay rises of between 12.5 and 16 percent and an increase in staffing numbers

NZNO spokesperson, Cee Payne, said hundreds more will be employed by the end of the year.

And DHBs have already started to recruit.

"We've already started recruiting, many DHBs have already got new people starting already," Spokesperson for the DHBs, Jim Green told Morning Report.

Mr Green said he is confident the new pay package will attract people to the profession.

But he said he cannot give a timeframe when the 500 new nursing roles will be filled.

"I think it's wrong to get caught up in the mathmatics."

He said groups that will fill the roles include graduates who haven't been able to get jobs and people who want to come back into the profession after some time away.

DHBs will consider looking overseas to fill some of these roles, he said.

Adding that nurses will still continue to go overseas just like they always have.

"We think that's a really valuable thing because they bring back so much experience and depth in their careers however we do want to encourage them back home again and that's the point of this settlement."

Ms Payne said some DHBs will find recruitment harder than others.

"It will be a challenge but they have got the funding, they haven't had the funding before to be able to increase FTE so I think we've got to give them the opportunity to go through the processes of recruitment and see if we can deliver on those numbers."

Meanwhile, one emergency department nurse, Julie, said the money isn't enough to attract senior nurses back to the profession, and she's skeptical about where the extra staff are going to come from.

She said she believes in a month or two there won't be any more nurses on the wards.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs