Bamford, David and Hall, Catherine (2007) A case study into labour turnover within an NHS Trust. Health Services Management Research, 20 (1). pp. 9-21. ISSN 0951-4848

This paper investigates turnover in a British NHS Trust, to find out why staff left and whether factors identified in the literature with regards to improving turnover were pertinent to the organization. The research also investigated staff groups with high turnover - staff with less than 12 months service, and the unqualified nursing staff group - to ascertain whether there were any reasons for leaving or areas of dissatisfaction particular to these groups. The outcomes of the research complied with much of the published research with some interesting differences. The main reasons for leaving were identified as moving house, promotion or career development and taking up education and training opportunities elsewhere. There was no evidence of 'level of pay', commonly given as a significant influence behind turnover, as a reason for leaving. It was also found that the retention strategies identified in the published research were mainly applicable to the research, with evidence to support the improvement of line management skills, training and development, career development, appraisal, communications and induction in order to reduce turnover. There was less evidence for introducing work-life balance policies, improving communications, pay and working relationships as retention strategies. Recommendations for future management of labour turnover within the NHS Trust and elsewhere are made, with observations about the validity of some existing models. The core contribution of this research is in adding to the body of knowledge about labour turnover issues. This is of value to those working in the UK health-care and wider public sector. Specific recommendations for future research are made.

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