Support programmes stem NHS losses

A confidential counselling service has helped improve performance and reduce pressure on the HR team at an NHS trust.

HR director at Ashford St Peters Hospital Trust, Sian Thomas, said she had worked to halt the flow of staff leaving the NHS by working to develop “new environments”.

Speaking to NHS managers at a seminar in London last week about motivating staff through such support programmes, she said research into staff views has also helped reduce pressure.

Other NHS HR directors shared their experiences on recruitment and retention at the Coutts Consulting Group event. About 50 delegates heard presentations from leading personnel directors including Jim O’Connell of East Kent NHS Trust.

O’Connell described the five-year modernisation plan in progress at East Kent.

He said, “Significant time and energy have gone into implementing the management structures necessary to deliver the ambitious service changes ahead. It has been a challenge to keep normal business running.”

In a keynote speech the NHS Executive head of retention, recruitment and employment policy David Amos said finding and keeping good staff is critical to the future of the health service.

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