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Retaining nurses past retirement

23 May 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 10


Sam Foster, Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals, reflects on the opportunities to retain experienced staff and the importance of well-thought-out organisational approaches and clear communication around this issue

Recently, I attended the NHS Improvement alumni conference aimed at the Trusts who were participants in the initial waves of the NHS Improvement Recruitment and Retention Collaborative. It was great to see figures presented at the conference showing that overall nursing turnover rates have fallen from 12.5% to 11.9% since the start of the programme, and although there are some regional differences, nationally, we have not seen this turnover rate since 2014. It was also great to hear peers share case studies on how they had made progress in both recruiting and retaining staff.

When I consider the age profile of nurses and midwives in my own trust, I recognise that we have an opportunity to recruit these valued people back into roles that are attractive to them and support the ongoing delivery of care, in turn supporting our nursing and midwifery teams.

There were two phrases that consistently came up throughout the day as high impact areas for Trusts to look at: flexible working, which is an area that I wrote about recently in BJN (Foster, 2019), and organisational approaches to retirement.

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