Career Focus


BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 01 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:S3a-7081

High staff turnover is a problem for NHS trusts, says a bulletin from the Audit Commission, causing critical posts to stay vacant for long periods of time with direct consequences for patient care. Replacing staff can be an expensive business, costing trusts up to £5,000 for each position filled. The report warns of the hidden costs of taking on new staff; who may take a year to learn to do the job efficiently and need extra training. Trust managers need to understand why staff leave, shape the staff attitudes that influence job loyalty, and implement practical measures such as improving opportunities for training, so staff don't have to leave to increase their skills. Local and national economic factors may be out of the control of the NHS. However, the commission says good staff management reduces levels of staff turnover, and can be controlled.

Audit Commission. The management of staff turnover in NHS trusts. London:

Audit Commission, 1997 (0800 502030) £10.

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