Hospital Dr News

NHS is “haemorrhaging” nurses as patient demand continues to rise, figures reveal

One in 10 nurses is now leaving the NHS in England each year, figures from NHS Digital show.

More than 33,000 left the NHS last year, creating staff shortages in many hospitals and community services.

This 20% rise in attrition rates since 2012-13 means there are now more leavers than joiners.

Figures released to the BBC show:

  • More than 10% of the nursing workforce have left NHS employment in each of the past three years
  • The number of leavers would be enough to staff more than 20 average-sized hospital trusts
  • More than half of those who walked away in the last year were under the age of 40
  • Leavers outnumbered joiners by 3,000 last year, the biggest gap over a five-year period
  • Brexit may have had an impact – the number of EU nurses leaving has trebled since 2012-13 to nearly 4,000 last year
  • The number of joiners has halved since the EU referendum – 2,800 started NHS jobs last year
  • Nurses are being pulled off research work, special projects and admin roles to plug the gaps

A fifth of leavers in the past year were over 55 – the age at which nurses can consider retiring on a full pension.

Royal College of Nursing head Janet Davies said: “The government must lift the NHS out of this dangerous and downward spiral.

“We are haemorrhaging nurses at precisely the time when demand has never been higher.

“The next generation of British nurses aren’t coming through just as the most experienced nurses are becoming demoralised and leaving.”

She said nurses needed a pay rise and more support if the vacancy rate – currently running at one in nine posts – was not to increase further.

The Department of Health and Social Care in England said the number of nurses employed by the NHS has risen.

However, the government’s scrapping of a popular training bursary is believed to have dissuaded many from joining the profession.

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation