One in eleven NHS workers plan to leave healthcare sector after pandemic

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
May 05, 2021, 9:05 AM UTC

For those that are thinking of leaving, pay tops the list of contributing factors

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on all, but perhaps none more so than frontline NHS staff. Now, following the news of the government’s planned 1% pay rise for NHS staff, the Royal College of Nursing has threatened strike action – but are NHS staff considering leaving the healthcare sector?

YouGov research among 1,009 NHS workers shows that one in eleven (9%) are considering leaving the sector – including 12% of nurses and midwives. This represents no statistical difference from when we asked this question in April 2020, when 7% of NHS workers said they were unlikely to remain in the healthcare sector when the pandemic ended.

YouGov’s research shows little difference between roles within the NHS, with 9% of staff in patient-facing roles saying it is unlikely for them to remain in the sector, as do 8% of those in non-patient-facing positions. However, the figure is higher among male NHS workers, one in seven of whom (14%) think it is unlikely they will work in the healthcare sector when the pandemic ends, twice that of women (7%) who said the same.

Why are some NHS workers considering leaving the sector?

With the row over the 1% pay rise for NHS workers still ongoing, being unsatisfied with pay and benefits (57%) was listed as the most common factor playing a role in the decision of those who intend to leave.

Unsurprisingly, pay is closely followed by issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic (39%).

Following this is a desire for a better work-life balance (38%), while 30% cited mental health reasons as playing a part in their decision to potentially move on from the sector.

Learn more about YouGov Healthcare research here

See full results here