Skip to main content

Mitigating early attrition amongst Healthcare Support Workers


The project evaluates steps taken by NHS England/Improvement and Health Education England to support Healthcare Support Workers (HCSW) recruitment, retention and career development. More specifically it examines NHS trusts’ attempts to recruit people new to care into HCSW roles, to support these workers, especially through the introduction of new educators and pastoral support roles, and to develop clear and accessible career pathways for them. It will generate data on: the infrastructure at trust level to support HCSW recruitment, retention and career development; the challenges this infrastructure faces; how these challenges are being met and with what effect.

Researchers Ian Kessler and Nicole Steils are working in collaboration with Katherine Stevenson, NHS England and Jon Parry, The Workforce Development Trust Ltd and colleagues.


July 2022 - November 2022


NHS England/Improvement and Health Education England


Interviews, Survey and Focus Groups (World Cafe model)


Final Report. Summary Slide deck. Presentations to various audiences e.g. NHSE HCSW Educator Community of Practice. The evaluation seeks to support a business case for the new role to support the career development of Healthcare Support Workers and feeds into the NHSE HCSW Programme concerned more generally with addressing vacancies, turnover and career progression amongst HCSWs.

Project status: Completed

Principal Investigator