Reducing attrition and pastoral support

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Foundation Trust: Working together to transform the role of Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW)

Summary: The trust sought to reduce vacancy rates and improve HCSW morale throughout the trust. The trust utilised several methods including; producing a series of resources including ‘a day in the life of a HCSW’, a Facebook campaign featuring photo storyboards and a large survey for both HCSWs and non-HCSWs, the results of which were announced at a ‘HCSW huddle’ (an event designed to provide HCSWs with a voice). Whilst the project is still in its infancy, the trust has noticed an improved atmosphere and an increase in applications for the HCSW role.

Key Themes: ​Reducing Attrition, HCSW Value, Pastoral Support, Innovative Recruitment

Key Contact: Evonne Hunt, Deputy Chief Nurse ​

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University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust: Developing strong career pathways and embedding pastoral support

Summary: The trust has developed a pastoral support package to help HCSWs early on in their career. Band 3 Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) act as buddies and are their first point of contact on the ward, buddies are also expected to support new recruits with the Care Certificate and have been trained to pinpoint career pathways. The trust has also instigated a Development Day which takes place 12 weeks after a HCSW finishes their induction. The day includes elements of feedback, pathways, and wellbeing.

Key themes: Onboarding, ​Pastoral Support, HCSW Value, Development Pathways

Key contact: Anna Kendrick, Education and Practice Development Sister​

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North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust: Workforce model for support workers ​

Summary: Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust experienced significant problems retaining its workforce, particularly Healthcare Support Workers (HCSWs). The trust covers 800 square miles in a rural area with high levels of deprivation, and its population doubles during summer due to tourism. Turnover rates were high, and people in the local community perceived being an HCSW as difficult and disruptive to lifestyle, without many career possibilities. A solution the trust found to this was creating a sustainable workforce model for support workers to improve retention.

Key Themes: ​Pastoral Support, Reducing Attrition, Sustainable Recruitment

Key Contact: Darryn Allcorn, Chief Nurse,​

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Nottingham University NHS Foundation Trust: A strategy for HCSW retention

Summary: Nottingham University Hospitals wanted to improve retention of their HCSW workforce.  Over the last 10 years the trust has developed its strategy to improve HCSW retention, highlighted areas to improve included: new knowledge, pride, recognition and reward, and talent leadership. It has led to work across all different aspects of the HCSW journey and HCSWs have been invaluable in shaping the strategy and leading key elements of it. The trust has uplifted around twenty band 2 HCSWs to band 4 clinical educators, and actively promotes the Clinical Educator Pathway as another pathway for progression for HCSWs who enjoy their role and may not want to move into nursing related roles.

Key themes: Reducing Attrition, Development Pathways, Pastoral support

Key Contact: Alix Collins, Corporate Matron

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