press release
Published: 05 July 2019

Surrey awarded £500,000 for transformational NHS workforce research

By Laura Butler

The Health Foundation Efficiency Research Programme has awarded £500,000 to the University of Surrey to support innovative research with the potential to make a transformational difference to the UK’s health and social care provision.

Staff retention has been described as the biggest workforce challenge facing the NHS, with a pressing need to boost efficiency within existing services. High turnover and high vacancy rates are costly and have a negative impact on staff productivity and morale, and ultimately patient outcomes.

Working in collaboration with the University of Leeds, a team of researchers from the School of Economics at the University of Surrey will investigate workforce retention in the NHS. Lecturer in Economics Dr Giuseppe Moscelli and his team will analyse and consider a range of aspects in relation to recent healthcare policies – such as the new pay/progression contract – and data on mortality rates and waiting times in emergency, elective and mental health care.

This project – as part of the Health Foundation Efficiency Research Programme – aims to improve knowledge surrounding the causes and consequences of the NHS’s staff retention challenges by advancing the understanding of labour productivity in health and social care, encouraging financial sustainability and illustrating the benefits of enhanced retention on hospital delivery and performance.

Dr Moscelli said: “We are delighted to be granted this research award. Staff retention in the NHS is a significant challenge for the sector. This project ­­­aims to inform healthcare policy makers, hospital managers and clinical professional bodies about the determinants of hospital workforce retention and the effect of policies on this, highlighting the benefits of improved retention and offering solutions that could address the challenges.”

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