Preston and Chorley hospitals deluged with applications for support vacancies in just a day

More than a hundred people applied for temporary jobs as support staff at the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals in the space of just 24 hours.

By Paul Faulkner
Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 6:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 6:44 pm

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals (LTH) advertised the vacancies online - and put out an appeal on social media - for people to help the NHS trust deal with the extra pressure likely to be placed on it by the coronavirus.

The Lancashire Post understands that the emergency recruitment drive – for cleaners, caterers, porters, drivers and laundry staff - has been paused while the 110 applications received so far are assessed.

An advert placed on the NHS Jobs website sought “friendly, reliable and conscientious” people to “support our hospitals as we all work together to keep everything running as smoothly as possible, despite the unprecedented circumstances we are in”.

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The Royal Preston Hospital

It also highlighted the speed with which the extra workers were required – and was candid about the need for a can-do attitude.

“In a nutshell, your duties could mean you are deployed right across Preston Hospital or Chorley Hospital, being flexible to undertake whatever duties we may need you to,” the advert said.

People with prior experience are set to be prioritised.

Stefanie Johnson, the resourcing manager at LTH, said that she had been “humbled” by the response.

"We are furiously shortlisting and sorting through these applications. We are using different ways to interview to avoid physical face-to-face [contact].

“The majority of my team are working remotely so we are connecting up to have group chats and video calls to keep everything running smoothly,” Ms. Johnson explained.

It is not known exactly how many people will be taken on, but the trust is also backing a call from the health secretary Matt Hancock to find 250,000 volunteers nationwide to help the NHS and social care services during the coronavirus crisis.