“Workforce Summit and Awards Highlight Great Work of Nursing Leaders” | Trending

While staffing is a year-round issue for the vast majority of the health and care sector, November is certainly all about the workforce for Nursing time. It’s the month we hold our annual workforce summit and awards, both physically and virtually, and also when we publish a themed issue of Nursing time coinciding with these events.

This year was the fifth Nursing Times Workforce Summit & Awards we have hosted, which is a personal milestone for me as I helped launch the event in 2018. However, unfortunately the workforce situation it is even more difficult than in previous years, and, as I said before, we seem to have reached a crisis point.

Nursing vacancy rates are rising, staff who worked during a pandemic now have to deal with the consequences in terms of waiting lists and delayed diagnoses, not to mention the impact on their own health due to exhaustion and the long Covid. Plus, winter is quickly around the corner and flu rates are on the rise.

“This year’s summit, despite the enormous challenges mentioned, was a very positive experience”

Meanwhile, the cost of living is also having an inevitable impact and years of below-inflation pay awards have driven union members to the polls, with dates already set for industrial action over the coming months.

But while our Workforce Summit is very much about shining a light on these issues in nursing and midwifery, it’s also about trying to find ways to alleviate some of them and sharing the great work they’re doing in all over the country the nursing leaders, either. on recruitment, retention, staff wellbeing or supporting new staff to find their feet and establish themselves as valued members of their teams. All of these are vital to solving the workforce challenge or at least a part of it.

This year’s summit, despite the huge challenges mentioned, appeared to be a very positive experience, with very strong discussions among delegates about what they were doing, could do and wanted to do about staffing and personnel issues under their control and influence I think we should leave pay to the unions and UK governments.

Also on the night it was a great pleasure to once again host the 2022 Nursing Times Workforce Awards, our annual celebration of all things nursing.

The aim of the awards is to highlight the achievements of the nursing workforce and some of the brilliant work that is being carried out during what remains an incredibly challenging period. As far as I know, they are unique in their approach to both the workforce and the nursing and midwifery professions.

So I want to congratulate all our 2022 finalists and winners across 17 categories, including Nurse Manager of the Year, Workforce Team of the Year and the big one, Best Employer of the year for UK nursing staff. They show that people can and are making a difference.

The awards once again highlighted organizations that go the extra mile when trying to attract new nursing staff, through our Best Recruitment Experience and Best International Recruitment Experience categories. Equally important, we celebrated efforts to retain staff, with awards for Best Staff Wellbeing Initiative and Best Employer for staff recognition and engagement.

Continuing with the vital issue of workforce retention, disturbingly two-thirds of nurses who left the NHS in England last year were under 45. One of the key factors to stop this trend is undoubtedly a better preceptor.

As you know, with our friends at Unison and the Florence Nightingale Foundation, we have been campaigning this year for consistent access to a good quality tutor and this is also something I want to further promote through our awards to Preceptor of the Year and Preceptorship Program of the Year.

“What is also needed, of course, is the support of the ministers in charge of the purse strings”

Another incredibly significant area that continues to require focus and improvement is equality, diversity and inclusion, which we have recognized with our Diversity & Inclusion Best Practice and Diversity & Inclusion Champion of the Year awards.

I know I’ve put a slightly more positive spin than usual on a dire and dire situation, but I think there’s always hope, especially given the energy and positive ideas I saw in the room lectures on Tuesday and then at the awards. ceremony

What is also needed, of course, is the support of the ministers in charge of the purse strings. That’s never guaranteed, especially with the current economic climate, but Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s promise to publish “independently verified” forecasts of how many nurses and other staff the NHS needs, as part of a workforce plan in the long term, it is very welcome.

This was something that the former Health and Care Secretary called for when he was Chair of the Commons Health Select Committee and it’s great to see him taking it forward, now that he’s back in Cabinet; never something that can be guaranteed in politics. However, payment is another thorny question.

I really hope, although I don’t necessarily expect, to be able to talk about few labor challenges when we get to November 2023. We’ll see.

You can read news coverage and watch video presentations from the Workforce Summit by visiting the Nursing time website as well as find out who won what at the Workforce Awards.

A visual representation of the 2022 Nursing Times Workforce Summit as captured by Smart Up Visual

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