OXFORDSHIRE’S NHS bosses have joined calls for the introduction of pay weighting to help combat the crippling staffing crisis.

While recruitment issues are a problem faced by NHS trusts across the country, it is being particularly keenly felt in Oxfordshire.

The latest figures available show that more than one in 10 roles – 400 whole-time equivalent (WTE) posts – were unfilled as of October 2017.

In February the county’s MPs called on the Government to introduce a pay weighting for NHS staff in Oxfordshire to help with the high cost of living in the area – often cited as a major obstacle.

Now bosses at Oxford Health Trust and Oxford University Hospitals have called on the Government to review the areas where pay weighting is applied.

Responding to a Public Health England workforce strategy consultation, human resources director at Oxford Health Trust, Tim Boylin, said it would be impossible to create a sustainable workforce within Oxfordshire without the introduction of a pay weighting similar to that seen in London.

Presently, pay weighting for NHS staff is largely confined to the capital with salaries supplemented with a 20 per cent increase (up to a maximum of £6,469 in central London and £4,528 in outer London).

A staff nurse at the John Radcliffe can typically earn up to £28,000, which would increase to around £33,600 with a similar structure of weighting.

Other major public sector employers operating in high cost areas outside of London, such as Thames Valley Police, already apply weightings.

Mr Boylin said: “Recruiting and retaining skilled staff is an issue nationally for the NHS, and the high cost of living and the proximity to London means that recruiters in Oxford face a special challenge.”

He added: “It seems clear that in Oxford we are not going to resolve the high cost of accommodation easily and a regional weighting system like London’s does seem beneficial.”

Director of Improvement at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, John Drew, added: “We would welcome a change of policy in relation to Oxford weighting provided it comes with additional funding.”

The calls come ahead Saturday’s Oxford March for Our NHS where hundreds are expected to gather to to demand an end to the staffing crisis.