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NHS announces staff retention scheme in primary care

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1,100 who would have left decided to stay 1,100 who would have left decided to stay

A scheme that has helped keep more than 1,000 nurses, midwives and other clinicians in the NHS will be rolled out to cover staff working in general practice as well as hospitals, NHS England has announced.

Over the last two year the National Retention Programme (NRP) has worked with 145 NHS Trusts to help them find was to retain staff. Figures for the first 15 months shows that more than 1,100 who would have left decided to stay, while analysis shows that the scheme means the equivalent of 800 fewer full time nurses have left the NHS since the start of the scheme.

These reductions mean both national nursing staff turnover rates and clinical mental health staff turnover rates are the lowest they have been for five years.

‘As Europe’s largest employer with 350 different types of job opportunity, the NHS has always been an attractive career option for caring, skilled and determined staff,’ said Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive. ‘Three quarters of our staff are women but only half say the NHS is flexible enough as an employer. So as well as a need for action on areas such as pensions, it’s right that local NHS employers are now themselves increasingly taking common sense action to support, develop and retain their staff.’

As well as prompting hospitals to adopt incentives to stay, trusts are also offering interviews where staff get the opportunity to talk to bosses about why they might leave.Following this approach, since the beginning of the retention scheme, national nursing staff turnover rates have fallen from 12.5% to 11.9%, and mental health clinical staff turnover rates have fallen from 14.3% to 13.4%.

‘With staff turnover at a five-year low, it’s clear that the NHS is competing well with other employers to retain the nurses, midwives and therapists that our patients depend on,’ said Prerana Issar NHS Chief People Officer.

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