§ Ms Stuart
We are committed to encourage the retention of staff within the National Health Service. We launched the improving working lives (IWL) campaign last year, which encourages employers to enable staff to create a balance between their work, and home lives. This can vary from trust to trust but may include self rostering,192W annualised hours, flexi-time and child care provisions. We have issued tools to employers to help them implement such initiatives.
The IWL standard was launched on 4 October and summarises the commitment Ministers expect from NHS employers to create well-managed, flexible working environments that support staff, and respect their need to manage a healthy and productive balance between their work and their life outside work. It sets a model of good human resource practice against which NHS employers and their staff can measure the organisations's human resource management, and against which NHS employers will be kite-marked. By April 2003 all NHS employers are expected to be accredited as putting the IWL standard into practice. IWL is not exclusive to doctors and nurses and all staff should therefore benefit from it.
The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust has developed a four-year performance implementation programme (PIP) which identifies the need for additional funding. This will be agreed with the health authority commissioners and the NHS Executive London Regional Office how funding for the PIP can be phased.
The PIP includes a number of measures aimed at encouraging staff retention, such as enhanced rates of pay over the winter period, commitment to working with trade union representatives to see how pay can be improved next year and looking at feedback from front line staff. The London Ambulance Service Chief Executive has written to all frontline staff outlining plans for action on pay, crew safety and staff facilities.