Health Professions: Labour Turnover

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of (a) doctor and (b) nurse retention in the NHS in the last ten years.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics, including information on staff turnover. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but not staff working in primary care, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the annual numbers and rates (as at June each year) for leavers from the specified staff group, doctors, including staff who left the National Health Service.

HCHS Doctors (excluding junior doctors)

Leavers

Leaver Rate

Stability Index

June 2010 to June 2011

4,415

8.3%

91.6%

June 2011 to June 2012

4,630

8.6%

91.4%

June 2012 to June 2013

4,720

8.7%

91.3%

June 2013 to June 2014

4,189

7.6%

92.3%

June 2014 to June 2015

4,129

7.3%

92.6%

June 2015 to June 2016

4,313

7.4%

92.5%

June 2016 to June 2017

4,242

7.1%

92.8%

June 2017 to June 2018

4,431

7.2%

92.7%

June 2018 to June 2019

4,263

6.7%

93.2%

June 2019 to June 2020

4,272

6.5%

93.4%

Source: NHS Digital Workforce Statistics – Annual HCHS doctor and nurses and health visitor leavers from the staff group, in NHS trusts and CCGs in England, June to June each year, 2010 to 2020, headcount and rates. Excluding junior doctors.

The latest data shows that in the last year 4,272 doctors, 6.5%, (excluding junior doctors) who were part of the staff group were not at the year end. However, the latest NHS workforce data shows that the total number of doctors (including junior doctors) has increased overall by 26,604 full time equivalent (FTE) in the last 10 years and 9,283 FTE in the last year.

The following table shows the leaver rate, stability index, and number of nurses and health visitors who have left the NHS staff group as at June for each of the years specified.

Nurses and health visitors

Leavers

Leaver Rate

Stability Index

June 2010 to June 2011

33,458

10.6%

89.4%

June 2011 to June 2012

36,846

11.9%

88.2%

June 2012 to June 2013

32,521

10.6%

89.4%

June 2013 to June 2014

33,243

10.8%

89.2%

June 2014 to June 2015

35,560

11.4%

88.6%

June 2015 to June 2016

37,068

11.8%

88.2%

June 2016 to June 2017

37,781

12.0%

88.0%

June 2017 to June 2018

36,998

11.7%

88.3%

June 2018 to June 2019

36,080

11.3%

88.6%

June 2019 to June 2020

33,733

10.2%

89.5%

Source: NHS Digital Workforce Statistics – Annual HCHS doctor and nurses and health visitor leavers from the staff group, in NHS trusts and CCGs in England, June to June each year, 2010 to 2020, headcount and rates.

The latest data shows that in the last year 33,733 nurses and health visitors left the staff group during the last year. The stability index for the last year indicates that 89.5% of nurses and health visitors remained in the staff group. The latest NHS workforce data shows that the number of nurses and health visitors has increased overall by 21,851 FTE in the last 10 years and by 13,825 FTE in the last year.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Retention Programme supports local delivery and launched a large-scale pathfinder programme across three regions in September to explore further how staff can be empowered and supported to remain part of the workforce. This programme has an initial focus on nursing but will encompass the entire NHS workforce.

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