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Staff turnover in the NHS: a preliminary economic analysis


  • Alastair Gray
  • Charles Normand
  • Elizabeth Currie


Drawing on evidence collected from 8 Regional Health Authorities and 47 District Health Authorities, this pilot study explores the level, causes and costs of staff turnover in the NHS. It finds: 1. Previous research has ignored turnover costs and neglected staff groups other than nurses. 2. One in four non-medical employees leave their job each year. 3. A lower proportion of non-medical staff who leave – 8 to 15% - stay within the NHS than is sometimes thought. 4. Statistical analysis presented in Section 5 suggests that it may be possible to relate turnover rates to local labour market conditions. 5. Management and administrative costs per leaver may be of the order of £240-£381 per starter, or £277,000-£440,000 in a typical district with 1,155 non-medical leavers and starters per annum.

Suggested Citation

  • Alastair Gray & Charles Normand & Elizabeth Currie, 1988. "Staff turnover in the NHS: a preliminary economic analysis," Working Papers 046chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:chy:respap:46chedp

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    Cited by:

    1. Emanuela Antonazzo & Anthony Scott & Diane Skatun & Robert. F. Elliott, 2003. "The labour market for nursing: a review of the labour supply literature," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(6), pages 465-478.
    2. Gray, Alastair M. & Phillips, V. L., 1996. "Labour turnover in the British National Health Service: a local labour market analysis," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 273-289, June.

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