Investigating healthcare workforce recruitment and retention: a mixed-methods study protocol

Alkan, Erkan, Cushen-brewster, Noreen and Anyanwu, Philip (2024) Investigating healthcare workforce recruitment and retention: a mixed-methods study protocol. BMJ Open, 14 (2). ISSN 2044-6055

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Although the sustainability of the health workforce has been identified as essential to achieving health and wider development objectives, challenges with securing and retaining the healthcare workforce persist. In the UK, there are notable shortages across a wide range of National Health Service (NHS) staff groups, with a high staff turnover indicating retention issues in the healthcare workforce. In addition, gaps exist in understanding the root cause of individual organisation’s workforce deficiencies and how their practice environment factors interact to impact workforce recruitment and retention.

Methods and analysis
An exploratory mixed-methods approach will be conducted to investigate the impact of organisational practice environment factors on healthcare workforce recruitment and retention in two Integrated Care Systems (ICS) in the East of England. We will conduct an online survey of newly qualified and established nurses and allied health professionals using a questionnaire adapted from two validated instruments. Our calculation suggests a sample size of 373 participants, we will aim to surpass this in our recruitment to strengthen the statistical analyses. Multilevel linear regression models will be fitted to evaluate the association between organisational practice environmental factors and staff recruitment and retention. The qualitative interviews will explore the experiences and perspectives of staff and senior leaders to explain the survey results and any significant associations therein. Also, the interviews will explore how to strengthen the partnership between higher education institutions, Health Education England, health and care service providers, NHS nursing and allied health professional staff to enhance recruiting and retaining staff. An exploratory inductive coding and analysis will follow Braun and Clarke’s recommendations to generate key themes from transcribed interview data.

Ethics and dissemination
Ethical approval has been obtained through the University of Suffolk Research Ethics Committee (approval number: RETH(S)22/051). Findings from our work will be disseminated through publications in peer-reviewed journals; presentations at stakeholders’ events, professional and academic conferences; and short reports for stakeholders, including participating ICSs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: health policy, nursing care, organisation of health services
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Other Departments (Central units) > Research & Enterprise
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2024 15:27
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 15:27

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