In this Knowledge Transfer Partnership, Anchor Trust collaborated with the University of Sheffield to identify best practice to recruit and retain care staff working in nursing and residential homes.


  • Development of innovative audit tool, leading to evidence-based analysis
  • Culture change within company, creating new business opportunities
  • Improved quality of service
  • Development of relevant and updated teaching material.

"The KTP scheme has been an excellent way to establish a mutually beneficial collaboration with our partners at the University of Sheffield. Now that such a partnership is in place, we hope that it will mark the start of an extended alliance which will continue to support the development of our business through high quality research." (Jane Ashcroft, Managing Director, Anchor Trust)

About the research

Recruitment and retention are major problems to both the cost and quality of service delivery in the care sector. The aim of this ESRC-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) was to implement new strategies that can reduce costs associated with recruitment activity and to improve the quality and continuity of care delivery.

The KTP Associate worked with Anchor Trust to develop better datasets relating to the movement of staff, recruitment and retention and associated costs. Academic study of literature was complemented by in-depth interviews with senior directors of the Trust, home managers and care staff.

The KTP led to the development of an innovative audit tool that allows home managers to identify not only issues of concern to staff, but also suggested methods of managing and overcoming such concerns to improve work experience. Analysis can now be made on a home-by-home basis, and such an evidence-based approach to developing new management practices has ensured that any improvements are based on sound foundations.

As well as a new auditing tool, the partnership has led to an improved quality of service, culture change within the company, and access to new development opportunities. The research has resulted in an intensive implementation of new practices within company sites throughout the UK.