The Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals publishes his plan for the next 1,000 days to make improvements at the trust, including staff recruitment and retention.
At today’s Nottingham University Hospitals Board Meeting CEO Anthony May set out his plans for the future in a document entitled People First.
The report reads:
‘Our workforce challenges closely reflect the national NHS picture of high vacancies, hard to recruit to posts, increased levels of sickness and staff turnover, and staff survey results that show a drop in morale and engagement.
‘NUH is one of the largest employers in the East Midlands with more than 18,600 staff, a number that has grown year-on-year.
‘Our turnover levels have exceeded 12% and we are currently reporting approximately 2,300 vacancies.’
‘There are several factors driving the trend of increasing vacancy levels and high sickness.
‘These include an increasingly competitive marketplace for employees within the NHS and across the wider economy and increased staff pressures post-pandemic.
Our staff survey results in 2021 show that our staff remain committed to NUH, are proud of the organisation and their colleagues, and report good working relationships and cooperation. However, there are also areas of concern.
From the staff survey and our staff engagement exercise, The Big Conversation, we have identified three main areas to focus our improvement on: the behaviour of managers and leaders, the physical environment and systems and having the right number of people at the right time in the right place.
Our action plan in response to these concerns has developed 12 key priorities, several aimed at improving recruitment and the working lives of staff so that they want to stay with us and realise their full potential.
Delivering these priorities in 2020/23, and creating our next set of priorities for 2023/24, will be key to improving staff confidence in the Trust.
Another issue we face around recruitment and retention is that our recruitment processes and workforce management systems are outdated and depend on high levels of manual intervention.
The average time to recruit into a vacant post at NUH is currently 69 days, compared to the best within the East Midlands at 35 days.
In response, we approved a business case to expand our recruitment team and invested in automated processes. For example, applicants can now scan and electronically send us their identity documentation which we use to complete the necessary employment checks.
We have also approved a business case to implement an update to the national electronic staff records system where managers can directly update aspects of their team’s employment record.
To boost recruitment opportunities, we have started taking innovative approaches to recruitment such as holding an admin and clerical open day which resulted
in 40 interviews and 14 job offers on the day. In addition, we are working with a recruitment and marketing firm to support recruitment into our maternity services where competition for midwives is particularly intense.
The NHS planning guidance for 2023/24 has also placed emphasis on the need to improve retention and staff absence through a focus on all elements of the NHS People Promise.
It describes a need to focus on the productivity of our workforce, invest in our maternity and neonatal services (with an additional £165 million being made available nationally) and a target to reduce agency spend to a maximum of 3.7% of the NHS pay bill.
Recruitment and Retention
• We have approximately 2,300 vacancies across our Trust
• Our sickness levels have increased from 4.5% (April 2020) to 5.4% (Nov 2022)
• The average time it takes to hire a new employee is 69 days compared to 35 days at the best-performing trust in the East Midlands
• We currently employ over 18,600 staff at NUH
• In the 2021 staff survey:
– 54.4% of staff would recommend NUH as a place to work compared to the national average of 58.4%
– 49.4% of NUH staff say that they have access to the right learning and development opportunities compared to the national average of 54.4%
– 36.2% of NUH staff feel that their work is valued compared to the national average of 40.7%