NHS trusts have been urged to take steps to avoid losing newly qualified healthcare professionals as the service restructures.
The call came with opportunities for healthcare posts, and particularly physiotherapists, drying up as the NHS battles to reduce a £500m-plus budget deficit.
Lesley Mercer, director of employment relations and union services at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, warned of the high cost of losing graduates. The NHS would be “begging them to come back” in two or three years, she said.
Sian Thomas, NHS Employers deputy director, said: “The NHS is facing financial challenges and there is a responsibility on all employers to take steps to avoid losing talented people.”
Representatives from the NHS, social care, unions, local councils, the voluntary and independent sectors and higher education agreed to work together to help displaced workers find jobs.
An action plan has been drawn up that includes exploring the possibility of ring-fencing jobs, and an agreement to advertise entry posts that no longer require previous experience.