A HOSPITAL has seen a huge surge in the number of people applying for jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Airedale Hospital said it has had a "flood of applications" amid huge support for the NHS, with more than 2,000 people applying to join in March and April alone.

This has led to over 300 job offers - a 52 per cent increase in comparison to 2019.

The rise has allowed the hospital to recruit more staff across a wide range of registered health professional roles, alongside other key worker roles. To cope with the increase in demand, the trust's human resources team has rapidly introduced a fast track recruitment process, meaning new staff can start within seven days.

Lorna Smithson, Head of HR Workforce Resource Service at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our local community and it’s evident from the number of applications we’re receiving that people want to help the NHS in any way they can."

The hospital trust has also taken part in other schemes to boost its workforce, including partnering with universities in Bradford, Huddersfield, Cumbria, Leeds, Liverpool, the Open University and UCLAN in Lancashire to employ students who have volunteered to help during their six-month final placement.

These 50 students will support staff and care for patients in special nationally-designed roles for future nurses and midwives.

And as part of the national Bring Back Staff Campaign encouraging retired health professionals to consider returning to the NHS, Airedale has received 32 offers across a range of areas and, to date, 22 have joined the trust. Meanwhile, the trust has also welcomed the third cohort of 15 overseas nurses from India, joining the 19 nurses that arrived in January and February this year, as well as the new Interim Foundation Doctors who have graduated from medical school and chose to join earlier than their normal August start date to help during the pandemic.

The Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes the Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke's Hospital, has also continued to recruit throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

A spokesperson said: "The Trust has continued to be popular with prospective employees and there has continued to be a positive response to the jobs advertised recently and which are currently out to advert."

l The Telegraph & Argus has launched a campaign urging the Government to waive this year's tuition fees for student nurses, paramedics and midwives who are currently working in the pandemic. Read more and sign our petition at www.change.org/p/government-fair-deal-for-students-nurses-paramedics-and-midwives-on-front-line-of-coronavirus-fight