Workforce risks and opportunities: Nursing and Midwifery

Workforce risks and opportunities: Nursing and Midwifery

A report to review the key workforce risks and opportunities within the Nursing and Midwifery workforce in 2011 and beyond.

The NHS is undergoing a period of significant restructure and reorganisation, while also facing sustained financial constraint. The implications on the nursing and midwifery workforce of many of the policies currently in place are, as yet, difficult to gauge and so raise challenges for successful workforce planning.

A key risk with any service reconfiguration may be increased attrition, especially through retirements from the experienced portion of the workforce, if changes to terms and conditions within employment contracts impact negatively on salaries or pensions.

There are additional risks to the supply of the nursing workforce, which may be particularly significant, as the exact requirement for various nursing groups and their responsibilities under the new structure is as yet unknown.

However, service redesign may provide an opportunity for nursing, as it may encourage nurses to take on leadership roles. There are opportunities for the nursing workforce through moving to a graduate entry profession, which may improve quality and enhance the professional profile.

As with nursing, service reconfiguration may present both risks and opportunities for the midwifery workforce. In addition to this, the main risk is related to supply.

Workforce opportunities in midwifery centre around creating the appropriate skill mix within the workforce available through, for example, retraining strategies in order to facilitate more efficient and effective working.

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