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Press release

Pay is important, but it is not the only factor contributing to high staff turnover: The King's Fund response to the NHS staff 3 per cent pay rise

Commenting on the government’s decision this evening to offer NHS staff a 3 per cent pay rise, as recommended by the independent Pay Review Body, Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:

‘I’m pleased ministers have agreed to the proposals made by the independent Pay Review Body and chosen to recognise the contribution of NHS workers through this pay rise.

‘The NHS is already struggling to retain staff, at a time when services desperately need more health care professionals to care for rising numbers of Covid-19 patients and the historically high number of people stuck on waiting lists.

‘Pay is important, but it is not the only factor contributing to high staff turnover. Even before the pandemic, many NHS workers endured chronic excessive workload, high levels of stress, and inadequate working conditions, all of which have a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing and on staff retention. Many of these issues are mirrored in the social care sector, which is not covered by today’s pay announcement.

‘Despite these acute issues, successive governments have seen health and care workforce pressures as a problem for tomorrow. There is now an urgent need for a fully funded workforce strategy to increase recruitment, tackle staff burnout, and support health and care leaders to create compassionate and inclusive workplace cultures that staff want to work in.

‘Without such a plan, we will continue to witness the vicious cycle that sees workforce shortages lead to overstretched staff leaving their profession prematurely.’

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.