Hospital workforce retention and patient outcomes

Start date

01 July 2019

End date

31 July 2024


The NHS has experienced a decade of austerity, which has led to negative effects on the working conditions of its large workforce and the ‘haemorrhaging’ of some groups of permanent healthcare staff. These positions must be covered by temporary staff at higher cost.

High staff turnover and unfilled vacancies are likely to negatively affect patient outcomes because of poor skill match, a loss of human capital and damage to morale. This project considers both the causes of poor staff retention, and their consequences for patient care.


The project will use large administrative data for English NHS hospitals to investigate the following:

  1. The determinants of variations in workforce retention
  2. The causal effects of workforce retention on outcomes (e.g. mortality, readmissions, patient reported outcome measures, waiting time, length of stay) in emergency, elective and mental health care.

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Funding amount