NHS salaries too low to make graduate staff stay

Graduates with health-related degrees need better starting salaries to stop
them deserting the NHS, according to their representative body.

Professions Allied to Medicines claims that more than a third of its
graduates are quitting their NHS jobs within the first 12 months, largely
because salaries are far below the national average.

Gary Newman, a spokesman for the PAM unions, said, "We have warned for
a number of years that it is no longer safe to assume that students graduating
with a relevant PAM degree will automatically move into the NHS.

"It is clear from our survey results in this and previous years that
the PAM starting salary is not sufficient to attract and retain adequate
numbers of graduates."

Newman said a survey last year revealed that 74 per cent of trusts have
difficulties recruiting physiotherapists, 70 per cent struggle to recruit
occupational therapists and 44 per cent have the same problem with

Tracy Myhill, vice-president of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource
Management, believes flexible working practices and improved career development
opportunities are as important as salary.

"Earning more money as a locum will not provide them with the necessary
continuous professional development essential to the development of their
long-term careers.

"Flexibility in employment arrangements and a real commitment to
development are much more likely to attract and retain such skills and
expertise within the NHS," she said.

By Ben Willmott

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