Report warns of nursing ‘exodus’ as many look to quit after pandemic

The report say a pay increase of at least 5%, flexible working, recognition of clinical skills could entice them to stay.

Matt Bodell
7 April 2021
Working nurses in the CCU

A third more nurses and midwives are looking to leave now than a year ago.

A new report reveals that almost a third more nurses and midwives are looking to leave the profession now than a year ago.


The research, Recover, Reward, Renew published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), calls for a “new deal” for NHS workers in order to retain them.

They say any deal should include a pay increase of at least 5%, flexible working by default, and national recognition of clinical skills.

The report is based on a YouGov poll of 1,000 healthcare professionals carried out between 9-15 February 2021 – nearly a year after the start of the pandemic.

It found that 29% of nurses and midwives were more likely to leave the sector than a year ago, scaled up this means that the health service could face losing 100,000 nurses and 8,000 midwives.


Ignoring the warning signs.

Dame Donna Kinnair, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, responded to the results of the poll; “This report should act as a wake-up call to government and force them to stop ignoring the warning signs of an exodus of nursing staff from the NHS.

“The reality of a failure to properly invest in the nursing workforce is clear. Not only on the ability to provide patient care but also on the welfare of those who have been pushed to the limit.

“Ministers must now rethink their pay offer and put in proper support service for those who given so much in the last year.

“Proper mental and psychological support services need to be made available to all nursing staff. Government must also step up to provide the funds for supported time out, not limited to annual leave, for all staff, to give them the time and space to recover.


“Failing to act on all of the warning signs will make recovery of the NHS a challenge that will place patient care at risk.”

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