Staff retention plan urges trusts to ‘think imaginatively’ about how to keep nurses

NHS organisations are being challenged to ‘think imaginatively’ about persuading nurses to stay with them, helped by a staff retention resource from NHS Improvement based on best practice at 75 trusts across England

Picture: iStock

NHS organisations are being challenged to ‘think imaginatively’ about what they can do to encourage nurses and other clinical staff to stay with them.

NHS Improvement has launched a new staff retention resource, based on best practice from 75 trusts across England.

The health regulator found staff were more likely to leave their jobs when they felt unsupported, burned out and had a poor work-life balance.

Yet those who had a good relationship with line managers, flexible working arrangements and role rotation were far more likely to remain.

Shopping discounts

The resource highlights the example of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, which reduced nursing turnover by 2% in a year after it launched a website giving staff access to promotions and discounts from 700 local retailers, helping them save up to £1,000 annually.

The resource also calls on trusts to improve continuing professional development and career progression, particularly for staff aged over 50.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust set up a working group to look at why its staff were retiring early and what would induce them to continue to work for the trust.

It now offers several flexible retirement options and a bespoke training programme for the over fifties and uses older nurses to provide guidance, coaching and mentorship to younger colleagues.

Talented and dedicated

This approach also saw nurse turnover reduce by 2% in 12 months.

Data from NHS Improvement shows there are currently 36,000 nursing and midwifery vacancies across England.

NHS Improvement executive director of nursing Ruth May said: ‘Patients deserve good quality, reliable care that meets their needs from the NHS, and the best way of achieving this is via the service’s talented and dedicated staff.

‘Locally and nationally we have to make it easier for our staff to want to do this for the long term.’

Further information

In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.