New research has revealed 43 per cent of health and social care workers are considering a job change due to the pressures of their current job, with nearly a fifth planning to leave the industry completely. 

A study of over 1,000 health and social care workers, conducted by Florence, the tech platform providing health & social care workers access to available shifts, found that almost a third of healthcare workers admit to feeling overwhelmed at least once a week, with 17 per cent feeling burnt-out every day. A staggering 97 per cent believe the cost-of-living crisis has caused further stress or burnout among healthcare professionals. 

It comes after more than half of healthcare workers (56 per cent) admit to working more than 2-3 times a week over their contracted hours, with 7 per cent working overtime every day. Not having enough staff is causing the most pressure in their role (50 per cent), followed by low pay (39 per cent) and high workload (35 per cent).   

The study revealed nine in ten NHS and social care workers state chronic staff shortages are affecting the quality of care. Analysing this deeper, three quarters of respondents stated that the quality of care is already being ‘severely’ impacted as high vacancy rates sweep across the industry.  

Dr. Charles Armitage, Former NHS doctor and CEO and Founder of Florence, observed:“If you’ve got fewer people there on-shift to look after people, the quality of care decreases because the people that are there are overstretched, they’re trying to do too many things and are suffering from severe burnout. As a result, mistakes are made as they’re not able to just spend as much time with people and provide that really important patient-centred care.” 

With A&E wait times at the highest levels they have been in over a decade, and over 6.5 million people on the waiting list for hospital treatment, there are clear concerns about the sector’s ability to cope with the demand for treatment.  

A reduction in wait time is important to mitigate quality of care being further impacted. The study shows that to reduce wait times, a third believe the government needs to put an increased focus on recruitment on hiring and 22 per cent think that the government needs to do encourage more people into the sector early on (i.e., at school or college).  

Fiona Millington, Chief Nurse at Florence, has long argued that vacancy rates are a big problem within the sector: “The biggest challenge for the industry at the moment is, without a doubt, staffing. There are more nurses leaving the industry than joining, at a time when the demand for nurses is increasing. The number of vacancies still sits above 105,000 and remains much higher than the overall unemployment rate. The lack of support on ground is leading to mass burnout across the workforce, leading many to question their futures in the profession. The NHS is plugging vacancies with resources from other countries and areas but it has become just a constant cycle of crisis management, without developing long term solutions to the problem.”