Number of NHS staff leaving for a better work/life balance triples

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The number of NHS staff quitting over long hours has tripled in six years, new figures show.

Nurse leaders said patient care was being “routinely compromised by chronic staff shortages” which were set to worsen, unless action is taken.

The NHS figures show that more than 200,000 nurses have left the service since 2010 – including more than 160,000 staff who left for reasons other than retirement.

In 2017/18, more than 26,000 nurses left the health service – a rise from 21,041 in 2010/11, the statistics show.

The figures for all staff groups show the number of voluntary resignations has increased by 55 per cent since 2011/12.

And voluntary resignations citing poor work-life balance were the largest reason for such departures – with 18,013 such cases in 2017/18, compared with 6,699 in 2011/12.

The NHS data, analysed by the Labour Party, found that that in 2017/18, more than 10 per cent of nurses, health visitors and midwives left the NHS.

In a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) tomorrow, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth will say the NHS is facing a workforce “crisis” and say Labour will invest in staff pay and training.

He will say: “It’s utterly staggering that our NHS has lost over 200,000 nurses under the Tories and that voluntary resignations from the NHS is up 55 per cent.”

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) acting chief executive, Dame Donna Kinnair, said: “Health and care services are losing thousands of experienced, dedicated nursing staff who feel as if no-one is sufficiently listening to their concerns and patient care is routinely compromised by chronic staff shortages.

Amber Jabbal, head of policy at NHS Providers, said: “It is no secret that the challenges of recruiting and retaining the right level of staffing to keep health and care services running are the number one concern for NHS trusts.”

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