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Northumbria NHS launches nursing recruitment campaign in search of operating theatre ‘stars’

Friday, 04 July, 2014
Northumbria NHS launches nursing recruitment campaign in search of operating theatre ‘stars’

A north east hospital trust has today launched a mass recruitment drive for theatre nurses to join its expanding operating teams across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is investing over £700,000 in the creation of over 40 new nursing and technical theatre jobs as the Trust expands its theatre workforce in preparation for the opening of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in 2015.

Successful new recruits will work alongside some of the very best surgeons in the world, in state-of-the-art operating theatres and as part of a model of care that is being hailed nationally by NHS leaders.

The investment in local nursing jobs forms a key part of planning for the opening of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital where emergency surgery will take place from 2015, with all planned operations taking place at Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck general hospitals.  

Northumbria Healthcare treats over 40,000 surgical patients every single year – those having planned operations and people in need of emergency surgical care.

The Trust’s operating theatre teams include consultant surgeons, anaesthetists, specialist theatre nurses, operating department practitioners, plaster technicians and surgeon’s assistants – all play a vital role working together to ensure the safety of patients before, during and after their surgery.

The new roles being created at Northumbria Healthcare include opportunities to work across both planned and emergency care and cover all aspects of surgery.  Theatre nurses will help prepare patients for operations, look after them during their procedure, work closely with anaesthetists and surgeons to follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘surgical safety checklist’, as well as looking after patients when they come out of theatre and are in recovery.

Dr Eliot Sykes, consultant anaesthetist and clinical director of emergency surgery and elective care at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Now is a very exciting time to join our organisation as we prepare for the opening of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital and the development of our general hospitals as specialised centres of excellence for planned care.

“Our surgical teams play a really important part in the overall patient journey – both for emergency patients and those choosing Northumbria for planned operations.  We’re now hoping to attract the very best skilled theatre nurses from across the NHS to work together with our surgeons across all of our hospital sites.

“Our new model of emergency care is leading the way nationally in the NHS and we are very proud of the changes we are making to build our services around the needs of our patients.  By separating out emergency care we will have even more options to extend our 7 day working to give patients even more choice about where and when they have their planned surgery in future.”

From 2015, Northumbria Healthcare will separate its emergency care from the planned ‘elective’ care being carried out at is general hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside which will bring significant benefits for patients.

For emergency surgery patients it means they will get straight in to see the right specialist no matter what time of the day or night at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.  For patients undergoing planned operations in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck, there will be no interruption to their scheduled procedure from any emergency cases needing a theatre.

This new model of care is in line with recommendations made by Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, with Northumbria Healthcare leading the way nationally in the NHS.

Theatre nurse Catherine Bainbridge has worked at Northumbria Healthcare since 2009 and is starring in the recruitment campaign.  She originally qualified as an operating department practitioner before training with the Trust to become a surgeon’s assistant.  Now, Catherine specialises in looking after patients undergoing hip and knee replacements at Hexham General Hospital and provides skilled assistance to the operating surgeon.

Catherine said: “I’ve had great support from the surgical team at Northumbria to really develop as a professional and increase my own knowledge and ability in the operating theatre.

“In my role I work with orthopaedic surgeons to run one of the most successful fast-track recovery programmes in the north east for people having joint replacements.  We are also recognised nationally for operating quickly on patients who have suffered a broken hip which is widely proved to improve clinical outcomes.

“This recruitment drive is a fantastic opportunity for nurses with a passion for theatre work to join a real forward thinking organisation which is focussed on keeping pace with change, using the latest surgical techniques and delivering services that exceed our patients want.”

Northumbria Healthcare will hold two recruitment open days in February and hopes to attract the highest calibre of nursing candidates from across the country to the north east and to one of England’s top performing NHS Foundation Trusts.

Northumbria’s theatre nurses, consultant surgeons and HR team will be on hand to discuss the various theatre positions available and the Trust’s values based recruitment process:

·         Wednesday 12 February 2014 – 5.30pm – 7pm

Northumbria House, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside

·         Saturday 15 February 2014 – 10am – 2pm

Hexham General Hospital, Education Centre, Hexham

Dr Sykes added: “We would encourage any nurses interested in developing their career in theatres to come and meet us.  We have a real variety of positions available for nurses to lead our theatre teams as well as those who are newly qualified and want to build their career with Northumbria Healthcare.”

For more information about the theatre nurse recruitment and positions available visit