NHS retention scheme rolled out to GP surgeries

The NHS is extending a retention scheme for nurses and midwives to GP surgeries.

NHS Medicine


The NHS has announced that it will be rolling out a employee retention scheme to cover staff working in general practice as well as hospitals.

Over the last two year the National Retention Programme (NRP) has seen experts work with 145 NHS Trusts to help them to retain nursing and clinical staff, including midwives.

The National Health Executive says figures for the first 15 months shows that the equivalent of 800 fewer full-time nurses have left the NHS since the start of the scheme.

As part of the scheme, a ‘transfer window’ lets staff move within the NHS between areas while developing new skills. Rewards from local businesses like discount gym membership and targeted mentoring for new joiners are among the incentives used to retain them.

Now the programme is being rolled out to other Trusts and expanded into general practice as part of the NHS People Plan.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said: “It’s right that local NHS employers are now themselves increasingly taking common sense action to support, develop and retain their staff.

“Analysis also shows that 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%.”

Prerana Issar, chief people officer for the NHS, 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.”


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