Retention in public services - How can government keep workers in the NHS, schools and police?
5 October 2023
Leaving rates vary substantially between services and roles The NHS, schools and police all saw an uptick in the number of people leaving their jobs in the second year of the pandemic, following falls in the first. [...] People move jobs more frequently in NHS hospital and community settings: 15.8% of staff left their post in the year to June 2023, compared to just 9.6% of the police workforce in the year to March 2023.* High levels of staff leaving their post is not always detrimental and may partly reflect pre-planned staff rotations, as in the case of the NHS where early career doctors circulate between differe. [...] In the 12 months to June 2023, a quarter (24.3%) of fully qualified GPs under the age of 30 left the service, more than twice the rate in the 12 months to March 2020. [...] Perhaps most obviously, in the NHS staff had to put in place enhanced infection control measures and bed occupancy has been at record levels due to the surge in Covid cases, poor patient flow and delayed discharges.26 The effects on schools were also notable, though some of the pressures on the teaching workforce may have started to ease with the recent Working Lives of Teachers and Leaders report. [...] In the NHS in particular, many staff are also struggling with the emotional effects of not being able to provide the standard of care they would like to – known as ‘moral injury’.29 Third, the work required to address unmet need or higher backlogs made worse by the cessation of some services during the pandemic.