A record number of NHS staff have resigned as better pay and work-life balance drive out health workers, new data reveals.
Nurses have said they are “really broken” as 42,400 staff voluntarily quit their NHS jobs in the second quarter of last year, more than in any quarter in the last decade.
This week a special investigation of the independent revealed how the National Health Service the crisis is scaling in all areas of the health service. Dr Simon Walsh, of the British Medical Association doctors’ union, said the health service was “in unprecedented territory, where the damage is happening week after week”.
The analysis showed that 7,200 staff members gave “work-life balance” as a reason for resigning.
This is the highest ever recorded for this reason, according to the analysis, and it is now the second most common reason for staff to leave the NHS.
A dispute over payment with the government has sparked an unprecedented strike by nurses, paramedics and other NHS staff, with more planned for this month. The NHS is also facing a possible three-day strike by junior doctors later this year.
According to the latest figures, reported for the first time by the health Service Journal, 2,161 staff members left their jobs due to a “better rewards package”; this was also the highest recorded to date.
Last year the independent revealed internal NHS estimates showing the government would miss its target of having 50,000 more nurses working in the NHS by 2023-24, as the number was expected to leave their jobs next year.
The Secretary General and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing, Pat Cullen, said in response to the dropout rates: “Nurses are leaving the profession, realizing they can get similar or better pay in supermarkets and retail stores without the stress of work.
“Poor pay is creating severe staff shortages and making patients unsafe. Nurses, patients, and the public deserve better than a government that won’t listen.
“The prime minister needs to address this today and starts by getting to the negotiating table to stop the exodus of NHS staff.”
The latest data on worker departures comes as the NHS grapples with a worsening crisis, with record wait times for A&E in December, after more than half of patients waited more than four hours for treatment. .
On Tuesday the independent Internal NHS figures revealed showed that 50,000 patients a week during December and early January were waiting more than 12 hours in the ER for admission. This was a new record.
Patients across the country have said the independent of waiting in cars in the ER that last days, and the most vulnerable are left waiting for hours in cars and ambulances.
Rachael, a nurse who works at A&E London, said: “The numbers are huge, nobody wants to wait, patients are frustrated with us, the workload is intolerable and unrelenting.
“Sometimes it is completely unsafe, it has been a long time coming and this is the result that we cannot prepare more, there are no mobilized personnel.
“From my point of view, it can’t just be about opening more beds. All areas are interconnected. Social care is a disaster, mental health is a catastrophe, primary care is overstretched and the staff is truly broken, resulting in a post-covid workforce that can no longer do or sacrifice. The workload can be intolerable and unforgiving, but we are trying to get by.”
Following a meeting with health secretary Steve Barclay on Thursday, the chairman of the British Medical Association doctors union council said the independentt: “If we don’t restore pay for young doctors, we’ll see even more young doctors leave the NHS. The NHS is in crisis, at the moment, with the number of doctors absent from shifts and surrogate billing, for example, and the harm that is being done to patients due to staff shortages.”