Worrying rise in the number of nurses and midwives leaving the UK register

03 July 2017

 

Figures published today by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) show an increase in the numbers of nurses and midwives leaving the NMC’s register. 

Analysis of the NMC register between 2012/13 and 2016/17 shows that the number of people leaving the register is now outstripping the numbers joining.

Between 2016 and 2017, 20 per cent more people left the register than joined it, the first time this has happened in recent history, while 45 per cent more UK nurses left the register than joined it for the first time.

Responding to the figures released by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:

“These figures provide further evidence of the severe workforce problems NHS trusts face.

“It is deeply worrying that for the first time in recent history there are now more nurses and midwives leaving the register than joining it. This goes beyond the concerns over Brexit – worrying though they are. The reduction in numbers is most pronounced among UK registrants. And it is particularly disappointing to see so many of our younger nurses and midwives choosing to leave.

It is particularly disappointing to see so many of our younger nurses and midwives choosing to leave.

“Last week we welcomed a new staff retention programme announced by NHS Improvement. This will offer a range of support, targeted at trusts with the highest leaving rates. Everything that trusts can do locally, supported by national measures, has to be a step in the right direction.

“However, until we address the underlying issues driving retention problems, including the pay cap and the unsustainable workplace pressures, these approaches will only have a limited impact.

The NHS is severely stretched and we need to keep and value our staff.

“The NHS is severely stretched and we need to keep and value our staff. This is important for the quality, and particularly the continuity of care. We need to follow through on the investment in training staff by consolidating and building on their skills, motivating them and giving them reasons to stay in the NHS.” 

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