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More than 70% of NHS workers considered quitting in last 6 months

More than seventy percent of NHS workers considering quitting in last six months, GNB survey reveals.

Stress, pay, workload and mental health main reasons GMB Union members cited for wanting to leave health service

More than 70 per cent of NHS workers have considered quitting in the past six months, a new GMB survey shows.

In a poll of almost 1,000 GMB members, 70.6 per cent answered yes to the question ‘Have you considered leaving the NHS in the last six months?’

This was a big rise on the previous year, when 61 per cent of NHS workers said that they had considered leaving.

Almost 55 per cent cited stress as a main reason for wanting to leave, more than half said pay, 15 per cent said bullying and 8 per cent violence and abuse. [1]

Latest figures show 99,460 NHS vacancies in England in September 2021. [2]

In the survey – delivered as evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body this week – NHS workers also reported levels of stress that were 36 per cent higher than the average for workers across the wider economy.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said:

“Before the pandemic the NHS was on its knees – after two years of covid it is close to collapse.

“We have a staffing black hole of almost 100,000 – and stress and poverty pay are set to drive thousands more out of the door.

“Health workers have lost thousands of pounds from their pay packets in real terms during a decade of conservative mismanagement.

“The NHS in England is no longer a Living Wage employer.

“Instead of empty clapping gestures and promises of pretend hospitals, this Government needs to give staff proper pay rise.


GMB’s survey ran from late December 2021 to early January 2022.

Reasons reported by GMB members for considering leaving the NHS (%) Respondents could select more than one option

Stress 54.9

Pay 50.9

Workloads 44.1

Mental Health 38.6

Covid-19 pressures / fears 31.0

Bullying 14.4

Violence and abuse 8.1

[2] NHS Digital, NHS Vacancy Statistics England April 2015 – September 2021, 25 November 2021 https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-vacancies-survey/april-2015—september-2021-experimental-statistics

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