Retain and improve your health visiting workforce

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As well as getting the right people into the health visitor workforce, employers recognise the need to keep them in employment by investing in them as people and developing their skills.

The NHS is the biggest employer in Europe, and people are the NHS' biggest asset. If these people are to provide the patient centred specialist care that is expected of them, and stay content in the organisation they work for, they need to be invested in, and engaged, educated and trained to continue to be a flexible, high performing workforce.

1. A strategic approach to retention

Use our guidance to help to you to develop a strategy to help you keep the skilled workforce you have invested in. 

2. Understanding your HV workforce

In order to successfully develop and improve your staff's experience at work, you need, as an organisation and as a service, to understand your workforce. Our HV retention briefing and checklist helps you to think about how you can collect and analyse data that will help you to understand and plan for the future of your workforce.

Tools such as the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) can help you to keep informative and accessible data about your workforce. Find out how ESR can support your HV retention strategy in this slideshow, presented at a recent NHS Employers HV event. 

3. Recruiting the right people to your workforce

Getting the right people into your workforce will have a positive impact on retention. If you employ health visitors who clearly understand the nature of the job, and their new environment, with values which align with those of your organisation and team, they will be more likely to stay than those who don't. Visit our web pages to find out more about recruiting a great HV workforce

4. Supporting new staff: Preceptorships

A preceptorship is a period of assisted learning, to help newly qualified staff make the transition from education into their new practice environment. It is extremely important that employers of new health visitors offer them a quality preceptorship to help them feel supported and valued from the beginning. 

Our preceptorship page offers guidance and outline the benefits of such a programme to you and your staff. The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) has produced a preceptorship charter offering advice about what should be included in a new health visitor's preceptorship. Download the document Excellence is never an accident 'here

5. Investing in your HV workforce

Health visitors are highly skilled staff when they start their careers - who become even more so as they develop. Investing in your staff's health and wellbeing, finding out what matters to them, and working to ensure that they are comfortable and fulfilled at work should be an imperative part of your workforce strategies. Find out more about how you can invest in your HV workforce.  

6. Flexible working 

It is considered good employment practice to offer flexible working for opportunities to your staff. Not only will this help them to find a healthy work life balance, but it will also bring about benefits for the organisation, and most importantly, the patients and communities you serve. Find out more on our flexible working web pages.  

7. NHS pension and flexible retirement options

Flexible retirement allows staff who are approaching retirement and beyond to change their working pattern using options within the NHS Pension to suit their personal needs.
There are options, (within the Agenda for Change framework), for using recruitment and retention premia (RRP) to attract workers into a job, or to retain their skills for longer if they are considering retirement. Find out more about how you can use RRP to recruit or retain health visitors in our new RRP guidance document.
Offering your health visitors flexible retirement options can form part of a retention strategy and go some way to preventing total loss of skills when more experienced practitioners retire. Visit our NHS pension and flexible retirement page to find out more. 

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