SWINDON will soon see an increased demand for registered nurses and healthcare assistants after local nursing recruitment firm First City Nursing won an NHS contract to supply staff to nearby hospitals.

After winning a place on the NHS Agency Workers and Social Care Workers Tender, First City Nursing will provide staff to hospitals across the south west and south central areas.

The company will hold the contract for two years, with the possibility of two additional 12-month extensions. Over this time staff will be needed across all areas of nursing, including mental health and community nursing.

To help with the recruitment drive, First City Nursing has set up a new recruitment shop in the Brunel Centre for prospective candidates, where consultants will be on hand to explain the opportunities available and how to sign up.

Stephen Trowbridge, First City Nursing operational manager, said: “This contract win is great news for Swindon as we hope to bring a number of new job opportunities to the town in order to meet local nursing requirements.

“We’re looking for all grades of nursing staff, ranging from health care assistants and dental nurses to matrons and social work managers. There are a lot of opportunities for work available across the region, and not just in hospitals but also in residential homes and home care as well.”

First City Nursing will pay the annual registration fee for its new agency staff under the terms of the new contract.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “They are looking for 75 new recruits because there is always a need for more nursing staff. The new recruits will be a complete mix across all areas, as there are a lot of different types of nurses they are looking for.”

The news comes at a time when Great Western Hospital has announced its own recruitment drive for nursing staff by holding an open day next Wednesday as it looks to take on an additional 72 nurses for the hospital, reducing the need to rely on nursing staff from agencies by building up its own bank of staff..

A spokesman for the GWH said: “As an absolute priority we are looking to recruit extra nurses to to help us care for the increasing number of patients we are seeing.

“We also want our nurses to be able to spend more time caring directly for patients and to be able to provide more personal care.

“There are currently 1,468 qualified nurses in posts across the trust and we have already recruited an extra 26 since April.“