A new study shows that nearly half of healthcare workers in the UK are considering or have taken steps to leave their jobs, due to feeling undervalued and discriminated against.
The study, published in The Lancet Journal, surveyed over 4,900 healthcare workers and found that 48% had considered or acted on changing or leaving their role in the past six months.
The most common reasons for wanting to leave were feeling undervalued by the government, their employer, or the public, and experiencing discrimination at work.
The study also found that women, people from ethnic minority groups, and older workers were more likely to report wanting to leave their jobs.
The findings are a major concern for the NHS, which is already facing a severe staffing crisis. The study’s authors warn that the exodus of healthcare workers could have a devastating impact on patient care.
“These findings are a wake-up call for the government and NHS leaders, We need to take urgent action to address the factors that are driving healthcare workers away from their jobs.”Dr. Seema Yasmin, lead author of the study.
The study’s authors recommend a number of measures to address the problem, including:
- Increasing pay and benefits for healthcare workers
- Providing more support for mental health and well-being
- Addressing discrimination in the workplace
- Creating a more inclusive culture in the NHS
“We need to make sure that healthcare workers feel valued and respected, “Only then can we hope to avert the looming staffing crisis,” said Dr Yasmin.
The study’s findings come at a time when the NHS is already under immense pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on the health service. Also, staff shortages are making it difficult to provide the care that patients need.
The government has pledged to invest £33.9 billion in the NHS over the next three years. But it remains to be seen whether this will be enough to address the staffing crisis.
In the meantime, healthcare workers continue to resign, and the NHS’s future feels uncertain.
Reference; Discrimination, feeling undervalued, and health-care workforce attrition: an analysis from the UK-REACH study, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(23)01365-X, The Lancet