A major recruitment drive has been launched for West Cumberland Hospital as NHS bosses reinforce their commitment to the area.

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is bringing in innovative plans to bring more medics to the hospital.

And it believes that it can offer unrivalled opportunities across A&E for medical staff who come to West Cumbria.

Deputy chief executive, Professor John Howarth, says they hope to develop posts that offer experiences and opportunities that other trusts can’t.

“We have already created an innovative role with the Great North Air Ambulance,” he explained.

“This allows one of our A&E consultants to enjoy unique rotations. They can be in A&E one day and another supporting the air ambulance with fell top rescues and other trauma cases across north Cumbria.

“This is clearly something we want to develop and expand if we are able.

Last week, health chiefs admitted they had staffing challenges coming up at West Cumberland Hospital but also said they remained committed to providing 24-hour accident and emergency cover.

Professor Howarth, said there were some “forthcoming staffing challenges and so clinical leaders in the team are reviewing our current arrangements”.

He added that the trust would be working with local community groups “to find a long term sustainable solution to these challenges that will enable us to keep A&E open 24/7”.

He has now added: “We currently have adverts on NHS Jobs for Trust Associate Specialists, these are highly trained doctors, for the A&E department at West Cumberland Hospital and will be advertising consultant posts and clinical fellow posts, allowing research alongside the clinical commitment, in the very near future.”

Professor Howarth added that the Trust is taking extra measures to make the more senior posts as attractive as possible:

“We know there is a national shortage of consultant and speciality doctors which is why in Cumbria we are offering applicants a recruitment premia for those roles. This is typically between 10 and 15 per cent of the starting salary. We also offer very attractive relocation packages.”

The Trust has already successfully recruited two advanced clinical practitioners in West Cumbria A&E department and will be going out to advert for a further three. For these roles successful candidates are also being offered a development programme to advance their career and further support the nursing teams.

He added: “We know that Cumbria is an attractive place for people to come and work as all of the posts have been filled by people from outside the Trust.”