In my view there are many areas to be addressed in order to remedy the current staff retention crisis in the NHS ('waste not, want not' page 24, May 31). These include investment in training and development, promoting equality of opportunity and reducing sickness absences.
Though an injection of£120 million for education and training in the NHS was announced earlier this year, the Royal College of Nursing rightly pointed out that it costs£35,000 to train each nurse, yet 12,000 trained nurses leave the NHS every year. Should the NHS not use the government's funding to address staff retention problems, through investing in longer term initiatives such as Investors in People - rather than watch funding for training pass straight through the system and out of the door?
Investors in People puts great emphasis on people management and believes that by looking at the way people are managed, standards and services can be improved. It helps businesses to progress and succeed by implementing development and training strategies that improve management, maximise people performance and tie both of these into business aims.
A classic example of the NHS overcoming the problem of retaining staff is Frimley Park NHS trust hospital in Surrey, one of the country's most expensive areas to live in. It aspired to the Investors in People Standard to improve management practice, resulting in a better service delivery and impacting positively on the recruitment and retention of employees.
The importance of retaining employees is endorsed by recent research showing that if staff turnover can be reduced by just 1 per cent, the NHS could save£15 million (source: RCN). It is clear to Investors in People that the health service needs to take a longer term view, and would benefit from implementing training and development systems that have a proven track record in strengthening staff retention.
Ruth Spellman Chief Executive, Investors in People UK