UK Employer of the Year: CHFT reaches finals of first NT Workforce Awards

Our Trust is through to the finals of the first-ever Nursing Times Workforce Awards together with our partners at Huddersfield University.

Our joint entry, which focuses on all our work to recruit and retain nurses, is one of eight finalists in the category Best UK Employer .

More than 100 organisations entered the awards which will be held at the Grange Tower Hotel, London, on October 4. 

The 21 judges said the standard of entries was extremely high and provided evidence that there was a lot of great work happening to support the nursing and midwifery workforce.

The panel were impressed with the wide range CHFT/University initiatives highlighted in the submission by our Head Nurse for Professional and Workforce Development Michelle Bamforth and Felicity Astin.

Their submission included a successful overseas recruitment drive, closer partnership working with the University of Huddersfield to increase the number of student placements, and the development of two new and innovative Clinical Academic Nurse (CAN) posts.

The CAN posts will support Band 5 nurses Tanya Fawcett and Gary Miles to combine their clinical work at CHFT with a secondment to work with Professor Astin at the University of Huddersfield to learn about research and quality improvement. 

Deputy Chief Nurse, Lindsay Rudge, said the Trust was aiming to develop nurse leaders of the future.

She said: "We are really excited to be a finalist in the awards and this is a reflection of the work colleagues have been engaged in to recruit and retain nurses and midwives here at CHFT. This has been a multifaceted approach  - we designed and implemented a successful overseas recruitment drive.

"We also strengthened our collaboration with our partner University to increase the number of students placements. Finally we developed a new and innovative Clinical Academic Nurse (CAN) role to combine the consolidation of clinical nursing practice with experiential learning in research, teaching and quality improvement. At a local level we wanted to find a way to boost recruitment and retention of Registered Nurses to out Trust, identify tomorrow's leaders in clinical nursing, research and teaching."

Professor Astin, said: "I am thrilled that the amazing initiatives happening at CHFT to attract and keep our staff have been recognised at a national level." 

Our head of Workforce and Organisational Development, Suzanne Dunkley, said: “I’m delighted that we have been shortlisted for this award. Our Nursing recruitment team has been working extremely hard over the last few years with our partners at the University of Huddersfield to explore new and innovative ways of recruiting nursing staff. It is testament to their hard work that we have been shortlisted for their award and I’d like to wish the team the very best of luck at the final in London in October!”

The full list of finalists is: 


  • Calderdale and Huddersfield FT with the University of Huddersfield, Creative approaches to staff recruitment and retention
  • Devon Partnership Trust, Born to nurse
  • Guy's and St Thomas' FT, A great place to work and develop
  • Local Care Force, Agency nurses protect yourselves, protect your patients
  • NHS Blood and Transplant, Organ donation and transplantation cohort recruitmen
  • The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, MYHT has made bold, inspirational nationally recognised changes to recruit and retain its nursing workforce
  • The Royal Marsden FT, Aspiring to excellence
  • Warrington and Halton FT, Developing and introducing multi-professional clinical skill pathway