NHS: Staff

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 9th July 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps is he taking to improve retention of NHS staff.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS Improvement and NHS Employers have been leading programmes of support with trusts, working to improve the retention of the nursing workforce. A universal offer of support has been provided to all trusts, and NHS Improvement continues to provide a direct programme of support to trusts with the highest attrition rates in order to support improvements in retention.

Strategies include targeted support on areas such as flexible working, supporting new starters and older workers, and development and career planning. NHS Improvement and NHS Employers are releasing resources and case studies to disseminate best practice models.

The new contract for junior doctors (2016) enshrines safe working, high quality training and ensures fair pay for work done.

We are also committed to offering improved working lives, flexible training options, and rewarding careers and conditions. On 24 June, Health Education England published ‘Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives – annual progress report 2019’ and the work it has undertaken in this area. The programme includes a range of initiatives to help to retain doctors in the National Health Service, ensuring that the junior doctors who work so hard throughout their training feel supported at work. The report is available at the following link:


NHS England and Health Education England are working together with the medical profession to increase the general practitioner (GP) workforce and support GPs to remain in the NHS. Actions include a GP Retention Scheme, the GP Retention Fund, the GP Health Service and the Releasing Time for Care Programme.

Action to improve NHS staff retention in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is a matter for each of the devolved administrations in that country.

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