University awarded £260,000 to help understand nurse retention issues and impacts on patient care


Birmingham City University has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, to be part of its programme supporting innovative research ideas into issues of efficiency and sustainability in health and social care provision in the UK.

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Birmingham City University

In collaboration with NHS Improvement, the University has been awarded a £260,000 grant by the Health Foundation as part of its Efficiency Research Programme.

The scheme aims to research underlying issues in nurse retention and its impact on patients in mental health and secondary care.

Nurses are leaving the NHS at increasing rates and 2017 saw 36,000 nursing vacancies. These were unevenly spread across professions, specialities and parts of the UK, resulting in inequalities in patient care.

The Efficiency Research Programme looks to advance understanding of labour productivity in health and social care in order to bring about financial sustainability, and to better understand workforce retention in the sectors in order to improve workforce sustainability.

As part of this programme, the project aims to reveal underlying contributory factors for better or worse nurse retention and determine the effect of nurse retention on patient outcomes and quality of care, helping to tackle the challenge of nurse retention in the NHS and ensure that high quality, sustainable care is available to all patients.

As part of the project, datasets from ten secondary care and ten mental health organisations across England will be analysed.

New processes for extracting, combining and analysing large datasets will also be created and tested, allowing them to be adopted across the NHS.

Dr Sarahjane Jones, Deputy Director of the Centre for Social Care, Health and Related Research at Birmingham City University, said: “We are in a unique position to unlock the key to underlying drivers of nurse retention and its impact on patient care in this research.

The collaboration comprises a multidisciplinary team including Dr Sarahjane Jones, Senior Research Fellow and Dr Robert Cook, Research Fellow of Biirmingham City Univeristy, Professor Mark Radford, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement, Professor Alison Leary, Chair of Healthcare & Workforce Modelling at London South Bank University and patient advisor Malcolm Gough.

Usha Boolaky, Assistant Director of Research at the Health Foundation, said: “The chosen projects for this round of the Efficiency Research Programme are all looking to generate new ways of thinking and new knowledge around labour productivity and workforce retention.

“Through our funding, we are supporting ideas that have the potential to make a transformational difference to health and social care.

Find out more about the programme here on the Health Foundation’s website.

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