Hospitals on the sick list as staff turnover soars

Staff
turnover at hospitals in central London is as high as 38 per cent a year,
according to a study from the King’s Fund think-tank.

According
to the report the high turnover is pushing up costs, increasing workload for
existing staff, lowering morale and could be affecting patient care.

Nationwide
other hospitals also face staffing problems. Hardest hit are inner city and
teaching trusts and the study warns the problem needs to be tackled for the
Government’s modernisation agenda to be successful.

While
the Government has launched a string of initiatives to boost nurse recruitment
and retention – including yesterday’s new guidance on tackling violence against
NHS staff, racial abuse and other forms of harassment – the King’s Fund team
said the measures may not be able to avert a crisis.

Nursing
staff levels are also being hit by the high number of nursing graduates who
choose not to practice – estimated to be around a third.

However,
the study finds that retention in the NHS is the main problem. Pay, not feeling
valued and more intensive work are the major complaints.

By Quentin Reade

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