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More than 40,000 nurses resigned in the last year

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Nurses given free parking as staff exodus ends private sector monopoly on employment perks

It’s been revealed by Socially Recruited  that an exodus of nurses is forcing the health sector to respond with an increasing array of employment perks in a desperate bid to fill roles.

The staffing firm, which recruits for big brands and organisations using social media, has reported that the proportion of jobs offering nurses free parking, free lunches and extra annual leave has at least doubled in the past year as the profession suffers a recruitment crisis.

According to Socially Recruited, 2 in 5 of its health service clients now list extra holiday as a benefit, up from 1 in 5 a year ago. The proportion that offer extra annual leave has jumped from 21.2% to 44.1%.

None of the company’s clients was listing free meals and parking 12 months ago, but now 60.4% are doing so.

Nurses are quitting the health service in record numbers in England, according to analysis by the Nuffield Trust, with 40,000 quitting in a year1. That’s equivalent to one in nine of the workforce, leaving recruiters struggling to keep up with the rate at which they need replacing.

A survey by NHS Providers has also shown that many nurses are leaving for better-paid jobs in the hospitality and retail industries2, sparking intense competition to attract and retain staff.

It comes after recent figures from the NHS Business Services Authority revealed that 66,000 NHS staff in England and Wales had stopped paying into their NHS pensions between April and July, with over one in three (23,000) citing affordability pressures.

Ben Keighley, founder of Socially Recruited, said: “Nurses are getting scarcer, and the sector is having to battle even harder just to replace those that are leaving. To stem the tide, we’ve seen an unprecedented influx of employment benefits in healthcare.

“Recruiters are throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at candidates and rolling out the red carpet in a way that, until now, was more commonly associated with the private sector.

“Competition is rife and healthcare providers aren’t just trying to outbid each other — wages in other industries, such as hospitality, have been making gains and turning the heads of nurses and other workers looking for a way out of the cost-of-living crisis.”

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