RCSEd issues NHS workforce warning in light of survey results

Published 15th Aug 2023 by PB Admin

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) is urging the Government to prioritise staff retention in its forthcoming NHS workforce plan, warning of an impending “potentially devastating” loss of workers.

The medical college, which represents 15,000 members across the UK, conducted a membership survey which showed that 75% of the 253 respondents have considered moving overseas for work and 50% claim it is very or somewhat likely that they will move overseas for work in the future.

In addition, 45% of surgeons surveyed said they are planning on leaving the workforce in the next five years, and of this group, 43% claimed this is because they are unhappy with the direction of the NHS.

As well as moving abroad for work, the survey also showed there is a risk of losing NHS workers to other professions, with almost a quarter of respondents saying they have considered an alternative career outside of healthcare, 56% of whom stated a better work-life balance is the reason behind this.

Professor Rowan Parks, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said “These results are deeply concerning, but unfortunately, they do not come as a surprise.  We have been calling for greater clarity and detail around workforce planning for several years, but the Government is yet to set out how it plans on retaining healthcare workers in the face of the chronic staff shortages we’re continuing to see.”

Professor Parks suggested that “A real focus on wellbeing for all NHS staff could also make a huge difference.  Simple additions to the workplace like staff rooms, canteens, and availability of hot food would go some way to making healthcare workers feel more valued and could therefore improve retention.”

He also believed that more flexible working for senior surgeons could entice them to stay on, as opposed to retiring early. “It’s no surprise that the lack of these basic measures is making NHS staff feel undervalued and leading them to look overseas, or even to other professions, for work.”

Professor Parks concluded “These survey results reinforce what our members have been telling us for a long time and highlight just how urgently workforce retention needs to be prioritised in the NHS.  As a College, we will continue to work with our members to discuss the challenges they’re facing and we stand ready to work with Government and healthcare leaders to provide advice on what can be done to improve the situation.”

PB Admin

PB Admin

Published 15th Aug 2023

Have all the latest news delivered to your inbox

You must be a member to save and like images from the gallery.