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Almost half of patient-facing NHS employees now considering leaving

  • 45% of staff are considering leaving the NHS and 52% have experienced anxiety and worry about the future
  • Top reasons for employees considering leaving are work/life balance, high workloads and their own mental wellbeing
  • Yet 77% claimed more options for remote working would change their mind

The number of patient-facing NHS staff considering leaving has increased by a third over the course of the third lockdown.

A recent representative survey revealed that 45% of doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals are now considering leaving their organisation. This figure is up by 32% compared to the result of the National NHS staff survey taken in November 2020.

Junior doctors are most likely to leave with 60% of them stating they were considering leaving the organisation, closely followed by 55% of nurses. These findings come in the wake of the recent resignation of Jenny McGee, the nurse who cared for Boris Johnson during his time spent in hospital unwell with Covid-19. In comparison, a smaller number of allied health professionals polled, 27%, said that they were considering leaving the NHS.

Top reasons for employees wanting to leave the NHS included work/life balance with half of respondents citing this as the reason, followed by high workload and then their own mental health. A hybrid approach would be favoured by many, with over two-thirds, reporting that they would prefer the opportunity to occasionally work remotely. Although when talking about working from home, 35% reported that they would be concerned about technical issues.

The polling conducted by Census Wide on behalf of Visiba Care, a platform for online consultations, revealed the toll the pandemic has taken its toll on NHS employees. Anxiety and worry about the future are consuming 52% of NHS employees, while 50% have experienced low mood and over two-fifths (43%) have had trouble sleeping. This compares with 44% of staff who in the 2020 NHS survey said they felt unwell due to work-related stress. This figure was lower at 40% in 2019.

This NHS-exodus could be stimmed by more remote working options according to the Visiba Care survey results – with over three-quarters of those thinking about leaving their NHS organisation stating a robust digital system, allowing more flexibility, would change their minds.

Of the respondents that have worked from home at some point within the NHS, a large majority, 92% agreed that working from home remotely throughout the pandemic has given them greater flexibility with their working hours.

Tina Marshall is Country Manager for Visiba Care UK:

Visiba Care is a secure platform enabling healthcare providers to provide accessible and effective care online through their own branded virtual clinic. Our survey findings have shone a light on some shocking statistics surrounding NHS staff retention. We all know it has been a really tough year for employees working for the NHS, but it is interesting to note that many said a digital first solution would help lessen their want to leave the organisation. Putting a greater focus on flexible working is vital right now. The mix of a digital and a physical approach will really help to transform pathways for patients and in turn this could really help the NHS in retaining their much-needed staff.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Visiba Care

Visiba Care was founded on the strong conviction that digital transformation is inevitable if healthcare is to offer equal, qualitative and safe services in the future. Visiba Care has customers in five different markets and the platform is used in many different healthcare operations, from integrated care to primary care and secondary care. With a vision of using digital technology to allow healthcare services to improve people’s lives, in-depth experience of digital transformation, and respect for healthcare organisations’ expertise and abilities, Visiba Care is a reliable partner which always puts the customer’s success first.

About the Census Wide survey commissioned by Visiba Care:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Census Wide. Total sample size was 264 Clinical, patient-facing NHS staff aged 20+ from across the UK in May 2021. The survey was carried out online.

Contact:
Sinead Lambe, ZPB Associates
Email: sinead.lambe@zpb-associates.com
Phone: +44 (0) 7834 523001

Cornelia Broqvist

Cornelia Broqvist

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