Seven new research projects have been selected to be part of the Health Foundation’s programme supporting innovative research ideas into issues of efficiency and sustainability in health and social care provision in the UK.
The Efficiency Research Programme looks to generate new ways of thinking and new knowledge around labour productivity and workforce retention, supporting ideas that have the potential to make a transformational difference to health and social care.
There are two key priority areas for this round of the programme:
- Advancing understanding of labour productivity in health and social care to bring about financial sustainability.
- Advancing understanding of workforce retention in health and social care to bring about workforce sustainability.
The research teams behind the seven chosen projects will work to explore how innovative research can generate a more nuanced understanding of workforce productivity, and the causality of enhanced retention on performance and patient care outcomes.
The teams are from across the UK and include projects exploring nurse retention and its impact on patient safety in mental health care; improving the sustainability of the social care workforce; and looking at the impact of staff turnover on productivity and health outcomes in the hospital setting.
Each team will receive up to £500,000 for research to be completed over three to five years. The Efficiency Research Programme was launched in 2014 and this is the third round of the programme.
The projects are:
- NuRS and AmReS: nurse and ambulance workforce retention and safety – Staffordshire University
This project will explore the underlying drivers of nurse retention in the NHS and use ‘big data’ techniques to analyse multiple variables and their effect on nurse retention, and subsequent effect on patient outcomes.
- The impact of workforce turnover and temporary staff on productivity and health outcomes in the hospital sector – London School of Economics and Political Science
This project to investigate the relationship between NHS staff turnover and health service efficiency will examine the impact of staff leaving or joining on productivity and health outcomes, and determine whether reliance on temporary staff is cost effective.
- Retention and sustainability of social care workforce (RESSCW) – University of Kent
With the aim of improving understanding of specific organisational and individual drivers of social care staff retention, this project aims to develop examples of good working conditions to support a sustainable social care workforce.
- Quantifying health workers’ retention in primary care, its variability and association with outcomes – University of Manchester
This project will examine how retention of GPs and nurses has changed over time, map its regional variability, and use data to analyse the association between retention and quality of care, unplanned hospital admissions and patient satisfaction.
- Improving labour productivity in primary care: the role of skill mix, technology and patients – The Office of Health Economics
This project will use routinely collected data from English GP practices to produce and measure an accurate definition of primary care labour productivity, and examine factors that affect its variability and determinants, such as staffing levels and skill mix, technology and patient population.
- RoMHS (Retention of Mental Health Staff) – University of Sheffield
This project will investigate variation in, and determinants of, mental health care staff retention, with the aim of better understanding how organisational contexts and the experiences of health care staff in the workplace influence staff retention and patient outcomes.
- Retention of the clinical and ambulance workforce in English NHS hospitals – University of Surrey
Using data on the hospital workforce in English NHS hospitals, this project will research what drives workforce retention and its changes over time and across organisations and specialties, and what the effects are on health outcomes.