Hospitals nurses winners of prestigious UK award for staff support scheme

Communications TeamNews

A team of nurses delivering an innovative programme to improve nurse numbers and patient care has won one of the profession’s top accolades.

The nursing workforce and education team at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been selected from 920 entries as winners in the Workforce Initiative category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2023. The award was sponsored by NHS Professionals.

The team found out it had won at a ceremony on Friday 10 November at Liverpool Cathedral.

Staff survey results and feedback sessions showed nurses did not feel valued, supported or empowered to improve their service or give care to the standard they aspired to. Nurse vacancies were high.

However, the nursing workforce and education team has hugely reduced them. Its innovative Grow our Own programme supports the trust’s existing and future workforce to ensure it is able to give great care.

The team focuses on demonstrating that it values staff by supporting their development and career progression, looking after their health and well-being, and providing pastoral care.

Nursing support workers and internationally educated nurses have been supported to become registered nurses.

When asked how the team felt winning this award, practice development matron Karen Mechen said: ‘This is such an honour and an outstanding achievement, not just for the Practice Development Team who have moved these projects forward, but also for the wider teams who have been instrumental in supporting, delivering training, providing funding and allowing the team to use their own initiative and developing the project to meet the needs of the service, investing in our staff and providing future development.’

‘Not promoting our successes is something we have been guilty of in the past, therefore being recognised for the great work we are quietly achieving is amazing.’

Chair of the judging panel Joanne Bosanquet, chief executive of the Foundation of Nursing Studies and Fellow of the RCN, said: ‘The Hull nursing team’s recruitment and retention programme really stood out. At a time when there is a workforce crisis it has managed to turn their vacancies around through investing in local and international recruitment, supporting existing staff to progress and retain essential skills. The nursing team has transformed lives as well as improving outcomes for patients due to the reduction of supplementary staffing. This could be replicated in other organisations and have a huge impact UK-wide.