Background The National Health Service is experiencing an unprecedented nursing shortfall. For the first time in 2017 more nurses left the profession than joined (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2017). Within London competition for children’s nurses is strong, with charitable, statutory and private organisations attracting registered staff. The need for children’s palliative care (CPC) services is growing within the UK (Together for Short Lives, 2018): however, Dickson (2017) identified an 11% nursing vacancy rate here with 65% of these unfilled for 3+months. Innovative opportunities for staff development are presented as a tool to aid recruitment and retention (NHS Employers, 2015; Smith & Baltruks, 2015; The Association of UK University Hospitals, 2017).
This project adopts an iterative approach to design, implementation and review of rotation posts for CPC nurses and will measure the impact on the workforce.
Aim To create and test rotation posts for CPC nurses, subsequently enabling recruitment, development and retention of a resilient CPC nursing workforce, responsive to patient need.
Methods Initial grant application, stakeholder engagement, recruitment of project manager (PM). Literature review completed, hospice nurse survey and hospice retention data gathered, service user involvement, pilot rotation pathways with bespoke competencies developed. Pilot rotations commence September 2018. University partners to develop resilience tool and gather information on programme impact. Clinical supervision and action learning sets integral throughout.
Results Successful Burdett Trust funding bid. Appointment of PM in first recruitment drive. Cumulative enthusiasm established through wide networking. Success is reliant on flexibility and innovation. Clinical competencies gathered, scope for Pan London CPC document development. CPC nurse survey: eagerness amongst staff for new development pathways, especially senior staff. Requesting networking opportunities, good support identified as essential. Literature review: minimal evidence of which interventions influence recruitment and retention, less for hospice workforce. Retention data: shared challenges, improved reporting identified to inform workforce development.
Conclusion Collaborative working, harnessing sector wide enthusiasm, facilitates development of nurse rotation programmes.
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