PLANS for more staff accommodation at two hospitals in Headington have been revealed amid efforts to tackle the ongoing recruitment and retention crisis in the NHS.

The proposals from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and housing group A2Dominion will see a further 90 staff homes built at the Churchill Hospital, and the existing Ivy Lane flats at the John Radcliffe refurbished.

Additional new homes will also be developed at the JR though the exact number of new dwellings is till being finalised, according to the the trust.

The trust said the developments were 'essential' for the recruitment and retention of new staff.

OUH currently has around 950 one-bed on-site units as well as a number of two-bed properties offered at approximately 20 per cent below market rents.

The high cost of living in the area has been widely blamed for difficulties in recruiting hospital staff, with politicians, union leaders and local NHS bosses calling for the introduction of an Oxford 'weighting' to bolster the salaries of key workers.

The trust employs over 12,000 staff and across its four hospitals; the Churchill Hospital, John Radcliffe Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

However, there a currently around 450 nursing posts that remain unfilled.

A spokesman for the trust added: "Expanding and modernising this accommodation is essential for the recruitment and retention of the trust’s staff as on-site accommodation reduces the high cost of rent from the local housing market making Oxford more attractive for skilled workers."

Director of improvement and culture at OUH John Drew, added: “We want to do everything we can to help our new staff settle into the area and to help them with the high cost of living locally.

“On site accommodation reduces traffic onto our sites and allows people to walk to work.

“I’m really pleased that we are able to work with A2Dominion to improve and modernise our on-site accommodation and expand the amount we are able to offer.”

Planning applications for the Churchill Hospital and Ivy Lane sites will be submitted in late autumn and, if planning permission is granted, the Churchill flats should be completed in 2020, with the first phase of the Ivy Lane development scheduled to begin in the summer of 2020.

On Tuesday, September 11, A2Dominion invited staff, who currently live in the Ivy Lane flats on the John Radcliffe Hospital site, to a drop-in session where the plans were presented and discussed.

A subsequent public engagement event will be held tonight in the reception area at Arthur Sanctuary House on the John Radcliffe Hospital site between 4pm and 7pm for local residents and members of the public.

The proposed plans for the new flats will be on display at the event and project managers will be available to answer questions from members of the public.

A2Dominion development manager Jim Smith said: “The opportunity to provide better quality key worker accommodation on both hospital sites, reflects our social housing roots, and commitment to the Oxford community.”