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New CNO strategy will help to build a ‘futureproof workforce’

The new chief nursing officer (CNO) for England, Dr Ruth May, has announced her three-point CNO strategy to help nurses deliver the Long Term Plan, including building a workforce ‘fit for the future’.

Delivering her annual speech at her CNO Summit in Birmingham, she said her new strategy would help nurses ‘play a full role in securing the future of our NHS’, and ensure delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.

She said that her strategy contains three priorities that will help ‘fulfil that mission’ – addressing workforce shortages; enhancing the reputation of the profession; and helping nurses and midwives lead change across the NHS.

Dr May claimed that building a ‘futureproof workforce’ to aid the strategy’s first priority on shortages will see efforts concentrated around five key areas.

She said: ‘Firstly, we’re going to make sure we have enough staff with the right skillset. That means a large recruitment programme, with an annual campaign addressing barriers to entry by doing things such as expanding the clinical placement capacity in both hospitals and the community. I believe this will make a significant difference to boosting the supply of future graduate nurses.’

She added that her second key area involved improving retention ‘by at least 2% by 2025.’

‘We know what works,’ she told delegates at the Summit. ‘The national retention programmes have produced tangible benefits. We are going to be extending these programmes, as well as working to create a much better environment for people to work in. Places of work have to be rewarding and full of opportunity. I cannot underscore how important your health and wellbeing is to me, and we will be trying to improve this.’

The remaining three areas for workforce will see her focus on developing leadership across all levels of nursing, tackling inequalities that exist within the NHS, and creating and infrastructure to allow more volunteers to support staff.

Dr May announced that she will be working with the chief people officer to ensure ‘a strong talent management programme is in place’, which will spot ‘early talent’ and nurture this throughout the duration of a nurse’s career.

The new chief nursing officer (CNO) for England, Dr Ruth May, has announced her three-point CNO strategy to help nurses deliver the Long Term Plan, including building a workforce ‘fit for the future’.

Speaking at her CNO Summit in Birmingham, she said her new strategy would help nurses ‘play a full role in securing the future of our NHS’, and ensure delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.

She said that her strategy contains three priorities that will help ‘fulfil that mission’ – addressing workforce shortages; enhancing the reputation of the profession; and helping nurses and midwives lead change across the NHS.

Dr May claimed that building a ‘futureproof workforce’ to aid the strategy’s first priority on shortages will see efforts concentrated around five key areas.

She said: ‘Firstly, we’re going to make sure we have enough staff with the right skillset. That means a large recruitment programme, with an annual campaign addressing barriers to entry by doing things such as expanding the clinical placement capacity in both hospitals and the community. I believe this will make a significant difference to boosting the supply of future graduate nurses.’

She added that her second key area involved improving retention ‘by at least 2% by 2025.’

‘We know what works,’ she told delegates at the Summit. ‘The national retention programmes have produced tangible benefits. We are going to be extending these programmes, as well as working to create a much better environment for people to work in. Places of work have to be rewarding and full of opportunity. I cannot underscore how important your health and wellbeing is to me, and we will be trying to improve this.’

The remaining three areas for workforce will see her focus on developing leadership across all levels of nursing, tackling inequalities that exist within the NHS, and creating and infrastructure to allow more volunteers to support staff.

Dr May announced that she will be working with the chief people officer to ensure ‘a strong talent management programme is in place’, which will spot ‘early talent’ and nurture this throughout the duration of a nurse’s career.

Her speech followed NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens' 'personal guarantee' earlier in the day that budgets for nurse CPD would be restored over the next five years to aid with workforce development.