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Barking, Havering and Redbridge nurses launch pioneering intern scheme

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 January 2018

BHRUT senior intern Beverly Sawer. Photo: BHRUT

BHRUT senior intern Beverly Sawer. Photo: BHRUT

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Pioneering senior nurses at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) have been inspired by a Hollywood film to start the country’s first nurse mentoring service.

Younger nurses at both King George and Queen’s Hospitals will now will benefit from even better support thanks to a unique and innovative new approach which sees 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 BHRUT 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.

“We know that new nurses can feel vulnerable when hitting the floor, so this is designed to help them.”

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 a Trust-wide focus on recruitment and retention, which aims to build a local workforce from within our community.

BHRUT’s Senior Intern Beverley Sawer took up her post in October.

Ordinarily, of the 150 or so Band 5 (the first grade of qualification) nurses who join the trust each year, 25pc would leave within 12 months.

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

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.”

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