Big rise in nurses quitting due to work-life balance issues

New figures released by Labour show a big increase in the number of NHS staff quitting due to work-life balance issues.

flexible working nhs employee


Over 200,000 nurses have left the NHS since 2010/11, with voluntary resignations going up by 55% and many of those leaving citing work-life balance issues, according to new analysis by Labour.

The research, verified by the House of Commons Library, revealed today shows voluntary resignations citing poor work-life balance have increased more than any other reason – up by 169% between 2011/12 (6,699) and 2017/18 (18,013).

The number of voluntary resignations for reasons of health has doubled (99%) – from 2,126 resignations in 2011/12 to 4,234 in 2017/18.

The percentage of ambulance staff leaving the NHS has increased by 3.3%, from 4.8% in 2011/12 to 8.1% in 2017/18.

Dame Donna Kinnair, acting chief executive of the RCN, said nurses are quitting because no-one is properly listening to their concerns and patient care “is routinely compromised by chronic staff shortages”.

Labour has released the research in advance of Baroness Dido Harding publishing a Workforce Implementation Plan for the NHS.

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, says the Government is failing in its duties to staff enshrined in the NHS Constitution, including having a good working environment with flexible working opportunities.

Labour says that, among other measures, it will restore Continuing Professional Development Budgets to 2013/14 levels, re-introduce nurse bursaries and reinstate funding for health-related degrees, guarantee training and reskilling for staff impacted by the coming wave of automation and put in place a national Staff Wellbeing Strategy to support all staff, including the creation of board level NHS Workforce Wellbeing Guardians in every local, regional and national NHS organisation.



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