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Saffron Cordery

Deputy Chief Executive
NHS Providers

Welcome to Providers Deliver: Recruiting, retaining and sustaining the NHS workforce. This is the fifth report in the publication series where we celebrate and promote the work of NHS trusts and foundation trusts, who are constantly seeking to improve care for patients and service users.

Our first Providers Deliver report explored the way trusts have responded to feedback from the Care Quality Commission, encouraging great ideas that have improved patient care. The next in the series, published in July 2020, looked at new roles for trusts in prevention. Our third report focused on the resilience and resourcefulness that characterised the response of trusts and their staff to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Our most recent report explored ways in which providers are collaborating to address common challenges, provide more integrated care pathways and deliver more sustainable services.

This time we are showcasing some of the innovative work being done by trusts to implement the NHS People Plan, and address workforce issues as staff continue to rise to the challenge posed by COVID-19 while working to address the care backlog. The themes we cover range across wellbeing, creating a sense of belonging, new ways of working, recruitment and retention.

This report comes at a critical juncture: operational pressures are intensifying, the shape of the NHS is changing and we are seeing tangible concerns about retaining staff. A recent NHS Providers survey found 48% of respondents said they had seen evidence of staff leaving their organisation due to early retirement, COVID-19 burnout, or other effects from working in the pandemic.

The case studies in this report show how trusts are transforming how they work to respond to the challenges and opportunities facing the NHS workforce. Trust leaders have maintained a remarkable focus on workforce issues despite huge service demand, recognising that staff have worked extraordinarily hard, demonstrating resilience and dedication – truly the 'backbone' of the NHS.

We are pleased to share this report with you, and hope that it is both inspiring and positive in the face of significant challenges.

Saffron Cordery

Deputy chief executive, NHS Providers