On 18th June 2020 Lord Clark of Windermere asked the Government “what plans they have to facilitate the recruitment of nurses onto degree courses beginning in September 2020.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, support for key public service staff and maintaining quality training for those professions will be strategic in the successful rebuilding of our post-Covid society. In the Royal College of Nursing 2019 employment survey, 37% of qualified nurses said that they were seeking a new job outside the profession. Does the Minister agree that the retention of qualified nurses, midwifery and allied health professional staff is just as important as the recruitment of trainees? Will he therefore say more about how the Government will review the support packages available to both students and new post-qualification nurses and allied health professionals, in order that more of those newly qualified are encouraged to remain in the profession?
Lord Bethell: I entirely support the observations of the right reverend Prelate. I have already said that retention is incredibly important. The culture in which nurses work is vital to achieving the kind of retention objectives we have in mind. That is why we are working on a people plan for the NHS. One thing we have learned from Covid is that when you give professionals the scope to deliver their best professional results, you get the best out of them. That is something we want to apply in the NHS people plan.