Ensuring that there is sufficient high quality staff to deliver health and social care services is particularly challenging, given London’s professionally and personally demanding environment. This affects all professions, but particularly lower paid staff. 

Supporting resources

The Finding and Keeping Workers website, available through Skills for Care, will support you with your recruitment and retention challenges, with useful resources to help you deal with some of the most common issues.

The Capital Nurse project was established in July 2015 as a collaboration between London’s Directors of Nursing, Health Education England, NHS England and NHS Improvement. The programme’s aim is to ensure that London always has enough skilled, committed and motivated nurses to meet the changing requirements of health care within London to deliver high quality person-centred nursing care across the Capital.

Common insights

Finding and keeping the best staff in London

  • Low pay, anti-social working hours, limited personal development and work-life balance are all factors contributing to significant workforce attrition, and existing high vacancy rates across a number of professions.
  • A cause of high vacancy rates across certain professions, care settings and geographical locations in London is as a consequence of the lack of perceived attractiveness of these careers.
  • A lack of a clear workforce baseline across existing professions, care settings and London geographies may lead to inaccurate future workforce forecasts to inform effective recruitment and retention strategies.
  • The high cost of living in London means that recruiting and retaining staff remains a significant challenge.

Known factors that improve the retention of the existing primary and community care workforce

  • Where staff have a clear career path with roles and responsibilities defined at each stage of their career
  • Opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise throughout
  • Ways of working that support them to be released to receive development training.

For more details see chapter 5 of the London Workforce Strategic Framework

Case studies

Recruitment and retention: NHS Employers case study library has many examples of recruitment and retention best practice.

Open doors practice nurse recruitment: Tower Hamlets CCG outlines how they successfully recruited nurses into General Practice posts.