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NEWS: Nursing transfer scheme extended to primary care

by in GP Practice Management, News

Practices are to get access to a successful nursing retention scheme, it has been announced.

The hospital-based scheme introduced the idea of a “transfer window” – but also provides local incentives, like discount gym membership, to encourage staff to stay in post.

NHS England says it has successfully reduced staff turnover in the hospital sector, helping to keep 800 nurses in the NHS in the last year. The “transfer window” allows staff to express their desire to learn new skills and find placements within the NHS.

Local employers are trained in offering “itchy feet” interviews to staff who are considering leaving. The project has been in place in 145 NHS trusts. NHS England says it has reduced nursing staff turnover rates from 12.5% to 11.9%.

Prerana Issar, NHS Chief People Officer, said: “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.

“The National Retention Programme has had a promising start and we are now looking to roll out this scheme to other Trusts and into general practice. Getting the right workforce is not just about the number of people we bring in but keeping and rewarding the team we have.”

Danny Mortimer, of NHS Employers, said funding was needed for continuing professional development. He said: “Employers have worked hard in recent years to take action on retention, and their efforts are being reflected in improved retention rates. It is positive that national support for this work will continue, as it is vital that our teams can keep the talented people in them.

“To support this vital work, we also need investment to restore funding lost for continuing professional development, and action to improve attraction and supply, particularly in mental health and learning disability nursing, the areas of greatest risk.”

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