The results of a survey conducted by the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) predict that at least 1,000 doctors could leave the NHS in the next few years.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the 1,758 doctors who responded to the poll said they would be resigning their post “in the next one to three years”, according to a Guardian report.
The most popular reason to consider leaving the NHS, cited by 74% of doctors, was the lack of a real-terms pay rise; but the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic was a major issue for the vast majority.
Neary seven in ten (69%) respondents said the government’s treatment of doctors during the crisis had made them want to leave their jobs, while 65% said they were driven away by a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Other factors included not being allowed to speak out publicly (54%); government u-turns on benefits to those fighting Covid, such as free parking (46%); and the impact of the crisis on their own mental health (45%).
“NHS doctors have come out of this pandemic battered, bruised and burned out”, said Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, DAUK President, told the Guardian.
“These are dedicated professionals who have put their lives on the line time and time again to keep patients in the NHS safe, and we could be about to lose them.”
Having identified over 1,000 doctors with plans to leave the NHS through the DAUK survey, Dr Batt-Rawden said the scale of the discontent was a “shocking indictment of the government’s failure to value our nation’s doctors”.