NHS trusts in England that are struggling to retain nurses and other staff are to get extra support from regulator NHS Improvement in a new programme announced today.
Plans to tackle the high numbers of nurses leaving NHS organisations were revealed last year by Nursing Times following an interview with NHS Improvement’s executive director of nursing Ruth May.
The programme unveiled today will see trust chief nurses provided with masterclasses on improving retention as well as an “engagement tool” to help trusts understand why staff leave, and another on analysing staff surveys.
Materials, guidance and webinars will also be made available, while there will be specific support for all mental health trusts.
It will be targeted at two groups of 20 trusts to begin with – those with above-average leaving rates for nurses, and mental health trusts with an above-average leaving rate for all clinical staff.
Over the next two months, Ms May and her team will visit employers to offer them support in understanding staff turnover and designing a bespoke plan to improve retention.
“We now have an opportunity to provide trusts with tailored support to persuade staff to stay in the NHS”
“We now have an opportunity to provide trusts with tailored support to persuade staff to stay in the NHS. It’s the right thing to do and it’s a real priority for me,” said Ms May.
“We know there is no magic bullet or formula for getting this absolutely right and it is not all down to retention, but we have a major part to play in supporting all of our staff and making sure we can keep them,” she said.
Nurse staffing shortage is ‘top priority’ for regulator
Source: Kate Stanworth
“Lots of trusts are doing it and have been doing it, but not necessarily with sufficient focus. Now is the time we believe we have the resource to support the provider sector to do this. Our effort has got to be how we support them to make this a real focus,” she added.
Commenting on the new support programme, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “NHS staff are our greatest asset and as well as training tens of thousands more nurses and doctors, we are making sure the NHS can continue to retain skilled and motivated staff that deliver world-class patient care every day.”