News

Two thirds of nurses who quit the NHS in past year aged under 45

NHS Digital figures show that nearly 23,000 young nurses left the NHS in England between June 2021 to June 2022 – a surge of 26% on the previous year

NHS Digital figures show that nearly 23,000 young nurses left the NHS in England between June 2021 to June 2022 – a surge of 26% on the previous year

Two thirds of nurses who left the NHS in the past year were aged under 45, according to new figures.

New data from NHS Digital shows nearly 23,000 young nurses left the health service in England between June 2021 to June 2022, a surge of 26% on the previous year.

Over the past

NHS Digital figures show that nearly 23,000 young nurses left the NHS in England between June 2021 to June 2022 – a surge of 26% on the previous year

NHS Digital figures show that two thirds of nurses who quit the NHS in past year aged under 45
Picture: iStock

Two thirds of nurses who left the NHS in the past year were aged under 45, according to new figures.

New data from NHS Digital shows nearly 23,000 young nurses left the health service in England between June 2021 to June 2022, a surge of 26% on the previous year.

Over the past 12 months a total of 34,000 nurses left their role in the NHS, an increase of 25% or 7,000 nurses compared with the previous year.

Workforce shortages not driven by retirement, but by younger nurses leaving

According to analysis of the data by the King’s Fund, the NHS will not have enough nurses to meet its need this winter.

‘Unfortunately, as we enter the winter months, our analysis suggests that shortages are worsening and the workforce crisis is intensifying,’ said King’s Fund policy advisor Jonathon Holmes.

‘Training, sourcing and recruiting nurses takes a long time. There will not be enough nurses in the NHS to meet actual levels of demand this winter, nor have there been in any recent winter.’

In his analysis published this week, Mr Holmes said the figures show that workforce shortages are not being driven by retirement, but by younger nurses leaving, often because of stress or burnout.

He called on the government to develop a multiyear, fully funded workforce plan to ensure that history does not repeat itself next year.

NHS Providers warn nurses are leaving health service for better paid jobs elsewhere

The new figures come just days after a warning by NHS Providers that nurses were leaving the NHS in their thousands to work for better paid jobs in shops and bars.

A survey of trust leaders found that two thirds of NHS employers are experiencing a severe impact as staff leave for jobs in other sectors.

But when asked by Nursing Standard whether the government was concerned about the mass exit of young nurses, the Department of Health and Social Care pointed to its progress in recruiting 29,000 more nurses since 2019 as part of its manifesto pledge to hire 50,000 extra.

A spokesperson added: ‘We have also commissioned NHS England to develop a long term workforce plan to help recruit and retain more NHS staff.’


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Cancer Nursing Practice
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs