New institute at University of Cumbria set to tackle NHS staff crisis

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, pro vice chancellor (health) at University of Cumbria.
Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, pro vice chancellor (health) at University of Cumbria.

A new Institute of Health set up at the University of Cumbria aims to tackle the ongoing staffing crisis in the NHS with a dual purpose of recruiting more new staff as well as upskilling and retaining the current workforce.

The Institute of Health’s praiseworthy ambitions aim to help address the crisis of the health workforce in the UK, which are felt particularly keenly in our county.

Current estimates suggest there are around 40,000 registered nurse vacancies in a growing number of specialisms which are struggling to recruit including occupational therapy, diagnostic radiography, midwifery and a range of other healthcare roles.

In addition to growing new recruits, the newly formed institute aims to support policy and research in relation to the NHS Long Term Plan with a renewed emphasis on increased funding for continuing professional development (CPD) and upskilling of current NHS staff.

The Institute of Health aims to continue to support the skills requirements of the region, by attracting and retaining health professionals who will provide high quality, evidence-based care in a time of change in health care across the UK.

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Pro Vice Chancellor for Health at the university strategically leads the new the institute.

He said: “The institute represents the growth of the university’s education, research, entrepreneurship and its major contribution to the health and social care workforce.

“Within the Institute of Health we also launched the newly created Centre for Research in Health & Society as well as our Centre for Excellence in Paramedic Practice.”