News and events

News and events

We've boosted support for nurses and midwives with a unique new team of mentors

Beverly Sawer

Our nurses and midwives will benefit from even better support thanks to a unique and innovative new approach which sees our senior nurses acting as mentors for younger and less experienced team members.

The scheme – the first of its kind in the country – is the creation of our Chief Nurse Kathryn Halford, who was inspired by the film “The Intern”, in which Anne Hathaway’s lead character is shown the benefit of some wisdom, support and advice by Robert De Niro’s retired “intern”.

Kathryn said: “I was watching the film and was struck by the power of using some experience, advice and a bit of world-knowledge to help younger and newer colleagues.”

She put together a case to Health Education England to fund a small, dedicated team of experienced nurses to work as mentors and coaches, to prevent new nurses from becoming disillusioned and demotivated, and ultimately leaving our Trust or the NHS.

Since launching, the “Intern” Programme has been so successful in halting the numbers of leavers that two new members of the team have been appointed to further the work, starting this week. The programme is one element of our Trust-wide focus on recruitment and retention, which aims to build a local workforce from within our community.

Kathryn continued: “We know that new nurses can feel vulnerable when hitting the floor, so this is designed to help them. Our team offers the nurses on the spot help and provides them with a strong support system. We are focused on making our Trust a fantastic place to work and build a career as a nurse or midwife, and I am pleased that this is proving to be so successful.”

Our “Senior Intern” Beverley Sawer (pictured above) took up her post in October.  Ordinarily, of the 150 or so Band 5 (the first grade of qualification) nurses who join us each year, around one in four would leave by the end of the first year.

Since Beverley joined, just three Band 5 nurses have left our Trust.

Beverley said: “I’m so happy to be able to welcome two new members to my team, so we can do even more to look after the nurses and midwives who are new to our Trust and help them to be happy in their roles.

“There are so many issues that we are able to help with. Many of them are quite small, but it can be really difficult and confusing starting out in a busy Trust like ours. It’s having that knowledge of how to sort the issue quickly, and who to go to in order that it can be sorted quickly.

“Building relationships with new groups of staff is incredibly rewarding and I look forward to coming to work every day. I think of them like they’re my children.”  

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