The review, led by Professor Michael West, sets out eight key recommendations aimed at supporting nurses and midwives to flourish in their work and to provide sustainable, compassionate and high-quality care. The report was commissioned by the RCN Foundation and involves a detailed examination of available evidence, new analysis of key data and interviews with staff at all levels across the NHS and social care.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has put the UK health and care workforce under unprecedented pressure. The workforce had been struggling to cope even before the pandemic took hold. Staff stress, absenteeism, turnover and intentions to quit had reached alarmingly high levels in 2019, with large numbers of nurse and midwife vacancies across the health and care system. And then the pandemic struck.
- The impact of the pandemic on the nursing and midwifery workforce has been unprecedented and will be felt for a long time to come. The crisis has also laid bare and exacerbated longstanding problems faced by nurses and midwives, including inequalities, inadequate working conditions and chronic excessive work pressures.
- The health and wellbeing of nurses and midwives are essential to the quality of care they can provide for people and communities, affecting their compassion, professionalism and effectiveness.
- This review investigated how to transform nurses’ and midwives’ workplaces so that they can thrive and flourish and are better able to provide the compassionate, high-quality care that they wish to offer.
- Nurse and midwives have three core work needs that must be met to ensure wellbeing and motivation at work, and to minimise workplace stress: autonomy, belonging and contribution.
- This report sets out eight key recommendations designed to meet these three core work needs. These recommendations focus on: authority, empowerment and influence; justice and fairness; work conditions and working schedules; teamworking; culture and leadership; workload; management and supervision; and learning, education and development.