Somerset hospice and NHS split costs of hiring extra staff

A Somerset hospice and a NHS trust have joined forces to recruit staff who will be jointly employed by both organisations.

Eight registered nurses and eight health care assistants will be recruited to work both at Yeovil District Hospital and a new 16 bed in-patient and day care centre run by St Margaret's Somerset Hospice, due to open in summer 2003.

Costs of recruitment and education as well as the payroll will be shared between St Margaret's and East Somerset NHS Trust.

Ann Lee, director of nursing at St Margaret's, said: "The Government is keen to encourage collaborative partnerships and with the continuing financial problems faced by hospices, this is a good way of recruiting nurses and sharing costs."

According to umbrella body Help the Hospices, the cost for hospices of employing nurses and doctors to treat NHS patients is £60 million a year.

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