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  • 17 July 2019
  • 3 min read

Nurses to be offered discounts and cheap gym membership to persuade them to stay in the NHS

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The scheme will offer a variety of discounts to nurses, midwives and other clinical workers.

According to The Telegraph, nurses will be offered discounts for shops and cheap gym membership in a bid to persuade them to stay within the NHS.

The head of the NHS, Simon Stevens, is going to call for a wider rollout of schemes that will help staff save up to £1,000 a year on their shopping.

The scheme has been made to encourage staff loyalty to the NHS by offering a range of promotions and discounts.

A scheme that has been running in Birmingham which has given staff access to discounts in 700 retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Boots and B&Q, and has helped to retain staff, say health officials.

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Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust have reduced staff turnover by 2% since offering the scheme to its staff, which also provides cheap membership, says The Telegraph.

The trust says that the 2,300 users of their discount website can save up to £1,000 a year with the scheme.

Trusts across the country will now be prompted to take up this scheme as to compete with their local job market.

Staff turnover has dropped from 12.5% to 11.9% since the scheme began

Mr Stevens is due to be speaking in a conference, where he will relay these findings and will discuss how the NHS needs to be “more creative about finding ways to encourage staff to stay in work.”

He will also share how such efforts have persuaded 1,100 staff to stay in the health service, including 800 nurses.

Other methods tried under this scheme include a “transfer window” to make it easier to move jobs from within the NHS, and “itchy feet” interviews, where staff get to talk to managers about reasons why they may want to leave.

The chief executive will also say how the NHS needs to be more flexible for the needs of staff, especially for those wanting family-friendly hours.

He is expected to say: “As Europe’s largest employer with 350 different types of job opportunity, the NHS has always been an attractive career option for caring, skilled and determined staff.

“Three-quarters of our staff are women but only half say the NHS is flexible enough as an employer. So as well as a need for action in areas such as pensions, it’s right that local NHS employers are now themselves increasingly taking common-sense action to support, develop and retain their staff.”

According to The Telegraph, stats show that staff turnover has dropped from 12.5% to 11.9% since the scheme began.

Prerana Issar, NHS chief people officer said: “With staff turnover at a five-year low, it’s clear that the NHS is competing well with other employers to retain the nurses, midwives and therapists that our patients depend on.

“The National Retention Programme has had a promising start and we are now looking to roll out this scheme to other Trusts and into general practice. Getting the right workforce is not just about the number of people we bring in but keeping and rewarding the team we have.”

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