NHS are losing 10% of their workforce every year
- 3 Min Read
Around 30,000 of NHS staff leave their jobs every year, what are the reasons behind this, and what is the NHS doing to prevent this from happening so frequently?
Last year the NHS spent £140bn on health across the UK, the largest figure yet, and more than ten times the amount that was spent 60 years ago. However, this large amount of spend is seeming to not be at the top of their main issues on a yearly basis.
Through research by NHS Digital, they found that for three years now, they have lost 10% of their nursing workforce. Which equates to almost 33,000 nurses. It was also highlighted that the vast majority of nurses that leave a year are part of a younger generation. With 17,000 deciding to leave being under 40 years old, around 9,000 being 40-54, and 7,000 being over 55.
Although compensation for the NHS workforce has consistently been a talking point, this doesn’t seem to be the main reasoning behind a large number of their staff leaving. As a survey by Linkedin found that the number one reason was for them to seek a better work-life balance. As through this survey, they found that 25% of doctors and 41% of nurses felt that they have a good level.
When these participants asked why they decided to leave, 56% mentioned their work-life balance, shortly followed by money, which was 46%. This large number of staff leaving could be worrying long term for the NHS, as last year the amount of staff that left outnumbered the people that joined by 3,000 people.
Danny Mortimer chief executive of NHS Employers, commented on staff retention, saying: “The health service is in the throes of a severe workforce shortage, and any suggestion that skilled senior clinicians are planning to reduce or end their NHS commitments is highly concerning”
The salary for a nurse in the NHS is £22,000 that could eventually rise to £35,600 based on seniority. While consultants have a salary of £75,000 to £105,000. However, although pay for consultants under the NHS is considerably higher, The British Medical Association (BMA) found that as many as 60% of consultants are thinking of leaving the NHS before their planned retirement age. In addition to this, many said that even before they leave, one third said that they intend to reduce their number of working days.
Although work-life balance and compensation has proven to be a prominent issue amongst the workforce, stress and shock at work have also been highlighted as another issue. As figures show that “15.2% of staff in England have experienced physical violence from patients, relatives, or other public members within the last year.”
However plans to tackle this issue have already been initiated, Matt Hancock, Health secretary said “We will not shy away from the issue. We want to empower staff and give them greater confidence to report violence, knowing that they will see meaningful action from trusts and a consistent prosecution approach from the judicial system.”
The chief nursing officer for England, professor Jane Cummings commented on these statistics, admitting that this is an issue. However, she did mention that there were changes being initiated to combat this. “We do lose people that need to be encouraged. We’re in the process of bringing in lots of nurse ambassadors that are going to be able to talk about what a great role it is, to be able to tell their story, so we can really encourage people to enter the profession and for those in the profession, to stay in it,”
In order to tackle this high retention rate NHS have initiated a retention programme in addition to reduce the number of nurses leaving, in addition to this, this could also increase the number of new joiners. The government also intend to increase the number of training places by 5,000.