Nurses comprise 50% of the healthcare workforce and care quality thus depends on maintaining workforce numbers. Researchers from Bournemouth University have been looking into ways in which the NHS can retain nursing staff in times of increased care demand, declining resources and uncertainties post-Brexit.
Led by Principal Investigator and Bournemouth University Associate Professor, Janet Scammell, the study looks at nursing provision across Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RBCH) and how nursing levels can be improved or maintained through the collaborative development and use of an evidence-based nurse retention model, known as TRACS.
The TRACS model focuses on key factors known to impact on intention to stay; supporting Transition at key career junctures, building Resilience, facilitating Authentic nurse leadership throughout the organisation, securing Commitment to support changing work practices and providing on-going personal and professional Support for staff.
Funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, the two-year study, which began in June 2017, initially drew upon Trust baseline data from the NHS staff survey and feedback from nurses.
The data reflected wider trends across the country, with nurses leaving due to stress, nature of work, longer term health needs, and a lack of staff development opportunities. A pre-intervention study then collected data using tools to look at nurses’ perceptions of their practice environment and factors that are known to contribute to burnout.
Working collaboratively with RBCH, the project has raised staff awareness of a range of measures to address key findings, such as early career pathways, highlighting the benefits of clinical education posts, promotion of the health and wellbeing service, where employees could call for access to support.
BU has been working with the Trust to integrate all of its support services into a new interactive web portal- a one-stop-shop for busy nurses to access information and support when they need it.
It is hoped that this system can then be rolled out across the wider NHS community and in other NHS trusts across the country, with the portal architecture being able to be populated with information relevant to each individual setting. The portal is being trialled in the older persona medicine directorate and survey and interview data collected.
The collaborative study will release its post intervention findings in May 2019, with the staff portal being available for use by all RBCH nursing staff at www.support4nurses.uk from early next year.