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Retention project kicks off as NHS losing nurses at 'alarming rate'

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NHS Improvement hopes to improve retention by 2020 NHS Improvement hopes to improve retention by 2020

‘A very good start’ has been made by NHS Improvement to retain nurses in their positions as more and more choose to leave their jobs, according to the Nuffield Trust.

NHS Improvement has launched a new programme in an attempt to improve employee retention, hoping to bring down leaver rates in the NHS by 2020. They described nurses as the ‘backbone’ of the health service and said the programme will seek to understand the reasons why they are leaving.

READ MORE: Report predicts shortfall of 42,000 nurses by 2020

The project will spread all over England, with support on offer to healthcare providers nationally. Its programme will include a series of master classes for directors of nursing and HR directors to discuss ways to reduce retention, targeted support for all mental health providers to improve the retention rates of staff and also online ‘webinar’ sessions.

Director of nursing for NHS Improvement Ruth May said: ‘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.

READ MORE: More sick days talent than ever as nurses 'feel the strain' of budget limitations

‘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.’

While the project was met with a warm reception by the Nuffield Trust, they were also cautious that current government sanctions – namely, the 1% pay cap – would need to be lifted before retention could improve.

READ MORE: General practice nurse the UK's most trusted profession, but 'may soon disappear'

Nuffield Trust director of policy Candace Imison said: ‘The NHS is shedding staff at an alarming rate, and that only looks set to worsen as uncertainty over Brexit continues. Because of this it is absolutely right to focus on how the health service can hang onto its most valuable asset – the people that make up the workforce.

‘This package of measures is a very good start. Focusing not only on how trusts can retain staff, but also helping them understand better why staff are leaving is sensible. But the continued cap on staff pay threatens to undermine this work.

‘Until the government act to address the prolonged squeeze on the pay packets of nurses and other NHS staff, the health service is likely to face an uphill battle where staff retention is concerned.’

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Comments

Managers don't look after their staff and are only interested in targets, never feel supported with the new style "if you don't like it then go" managers
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We are leaving as are wards our not safe, we are given too many patients to look after as we are short staffed and told to get on with it sometimes looking after 15 poorly patients in the day, you hardly see your patients as you have that many tick boxes to complete on each patient your head is stuck on the computer, it is so dangerous and we are overworked underpaid and scared of loosing our pins, nothing is done about this if we complain so what's the point.
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