The impact of redeployment on nurse wellbeing and retention

Hear about the findings of the nurse redeployment study as well as key recommendations to support future improvements.

12 December 2023

In this presentation, Dr Hannah Hartley and Dr Alice Dunning from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust share key findings from their Redeploy Study, looking at the impact of redeployment during the COVID-19 pandemic on nurse managers and nurses, as well as recommendations to support and improve future redeployment plans.

The study explored the experiences of nurse managers and nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this study, 100 nurse managers and nurses were interviewed within three NHS trusts in England. This included those involved in redeploying nurses and those who were redeployed or worked in teams that received redeployed nurses.

Key findings from the study included:

  • Nurse managers experienced a lot of uncertainty and stress, having to make decisions about how to rapidly redeploy nurses to meet demands with limited guidance from their organisation.
  • Nurse managers were unsure how to support nurses during redeployment and how to re-build their teams after redeployment.
  • While a few nurses enjoyed their redeployment experience, many experienced a lot of distress, with about half thinking about leaving their jobs.

The findings of the study were shared with key organisations such as the Royal College of Nursing and NHS England, who helped develop 11 key recommendations for policy and clinical practice.

These recommendations aim to support the development of formalised redeployment and workforce recovery plans across NHS trusts. They also aim to improve future redeployment, minimise nurse stress, increase nurse skills and clinical practice development to support patient care quality, and support nurse retention.

October 2023

Following the the findings of the research funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), guided by senior national stakeholders the following resources have been published:

  • Recommendations for the management of NHS nurse redeployment and crisis workforce recovery: A guide for acute NHS hospital trusts.  
    It outlines 11 recommendations for organisational leaders, to bring about change that is supported at a systems and organisational level. The second half of the report provides the evidence underpinning each recommendation.
  • Nurse redeployment: A good practice guide.
    This guide is for senior nursing leaders, middle managers and nurses that are involved in redeployment and provides more operational guidance (for example, top tips, what to encourage and what to avoid during the redeployment process) to support good practice of redeployment. This guide supports the delivery of the high-level recommendations on the ground.

Download these reports via the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research Group website

Further information

For more information about the study or the recommendations, please contact Dr Hannah Hartley at

For updates on publications please follow @RedeployStudy on Twitter.

This programme of research was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) as part of the COVID-19 recovery programme and was carried out by researchers at the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research Group.