1 in 10 nurses quit the NHS each year

Two nurses monitoring a newborn baby

A recent study suggests that the NHS is rapidly losing nurses.

Last year, 33,000 nurses left the NHS, a 20% rise in nurses leaving in the last 5 years.  For the first time in three years, there has been a decrease in numbers opposed to an increase.

The same is true for nurses in the West Midlands, where there is a high rate of NHS nurse ‘leavers’ in comparison to those joining, which has remained at an almost consistent level since 2013.

Michelle McLaughlin, chief nurse of Birmingham Children’s Hospital,  believes that the reason nurses are quitting across the country is “multifactorial and complex, concerning more than just finance and budget.”

McLaughlin emphasises that “it’s important to give staff flexible shifts and involve them in decision making. If you’ve got happy staff you’ve got happy patients.” (Television interview, BBC Breakfast, 17 January 2017).

Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said:

“Experienced nursing staff are leaving in droves – not because they don’t like the job, but because they can’t afford to stay, while the next generation do not see their future in an under-valued profession.”

The news is troubling, especially after the strain on NHS workers this month. One is left to question how the worker will cope if the numbers continue to decline.

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