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Recruitment Crisis hits United Kingdom as record number of nurses quit

By Stephen Tweed  Stephen Tweed, author, Conquering the Crisis

Can’t find enough caregivers to grow your agency?

You are not alone.  The “Caregiver Recruiting and Retention Crisis” is becoming one of the biggest strategic issues facing leaders in home health, hospice, and private pay in-home care.  And it’s not limited to the US.

Elizabeth and I just came back from England and Switzerland where we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.  While in London, we had dinner with some business colleagues who work in recruiting and selection in England, and who serve the home care industry there.  In our hotel, I picked up a copy of the London Times newspaper, and a page 2 head line screamed … “Recruitment crisis on wards as a record number of nurses quit.”

It begins, “The number of nurses has gone down for the first time in almost a decade after a record proportion quit last year.  There has been a 50 percent surge in people giving up the job in recent years meaning thousands more are leaving the profession than joining.”  According to the article, 34,941 people left nursing in the UK, and only 29,025 joined the profession.  There are 690,773 nurses and midwives registered to practice in the country at the end of June 2017.

Pay is NOT the Main Reason Nurses are Leaving

According to research into the nursing crisis, hospitals are getting busier in the UK, and are relying more heavily on staff goodwill to put in extra unpaid hours.  Staff are increasingly fed up with the additional work expected of them without additional compensation.

The other factor affecting the number of nurses in Britain is the 96% decline in the number of nurses from other EU countries who have left since the Brexit vote in June of 2016.

Nurses in the hospitals earn on average 31,000 British pounds, which at the current exchange rate is about $40,000 US.  It sounds like they get no overtime pay if they work extra hours to meet patient demand.

What Does This Meant to US?

As leaders in home care and hospice in the US,  learning about how other countries are facing the same challenges helps us to see more clearly the magnitude of the crisis. It helps is as leaders to recognize that this is not a local or state issue, or even a national issue. It is a global issue that will be with us for decades.  If we want to grow our agencies, we will need to develop and implement long term strategies to craft a culture of attraction and accomplishment. Then, we ‘ll need to put in place people and processes to recruit, select, on-board, develop, and retain top talent at the front lines of care giving.

About the Conquering the Crisis newsletter

This bi-weekly electronic newsletter has been created by Leading Home Care… a Tweed Jeffries company for CEOs and C-suite leaders in home health care, hospice, and private pay in-home care to bring you latest information available.  The newsletter is published in conjunction with Stephen Tweed’s newest book, Conquering the Crisis: Proven Solutions for Caregiver Recruiting and Retention to be published in July, 2017 buy Red Letter Press, Austin, TX.

Order Your Copy Today!

Conquering the Crisis by Stephen Tweed


To have Stephen Tweed speak for your next association conference or corporate meeting, call us at 502-339-0653.

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