The number of NHS workers who left their jobs at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust last year hit a 10-year high, new figures show.

Experts suggest the aftermath of the pandemic, and an increase in people taking deferred retirement may be contributing to the rise.

NHS Digital figures show around 505 people resigned from their posts at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, with 140 nurses and health visitors choosing to leave their jobs in the year to March.

In total, approximately 665 staff members left their jobs in 2022-23, a 21% increase on the 550 who left in 2020-21, during the height of the pandemic.

The figures cover medical and administration staff and are rounded to the nearest five. A resignation does not necessarily mean the staff member has left the NHS altogether, as the numbers also include any promotions and relocations.

In the last year, approximately 15 doctors left their roles at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers part of the NHS Confederation, said: “There is a sense that staff who deferred retirement due to the pandemic and its recovery are now choosing to enact their plans, and there is also undoubtedly significant numbers of staff moving between organisations to pursue financial and career opportunities.”

Trusts across England saw 222,690 workers leaving their roles in the NHS between 2022-23, 63% of whom resigned.

The remainder left for other reasons, such as retirement, dismissal or reaching the end of their fixed contract.

These figures emerge as the NHS enters its 75th year and is facing intense pressure due to record demand for care.

Ellie Orton OBE, chief executive at NHS Charities Together, said: “In addition to the aftermath of Covid-19 – including ever-increasing waitlists, long hours and public scrutiny – many roles can take a substantial physical and mental toll.”

Mr Mortimer said the new workforce plan challenges NHS organisations to improve working environments across their services and teams.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the first ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, backed by over £2.4 billion government funding, will deliver the biggest training expansion in NHS history and recruit and retain hundreds of thousands more staff over the next 15 years.

They added: “We know that if we are to build a stronger, healthier NHS for the long-term with patients at its centre, it is vital to have the workforce to support it.

“There are record numbers of doctors working in the NHS with over 5,800 more compared to this time last year and we are on track to meet our commitment of 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament, with over 44,000 more nurses in April 2023 compared with September 2019.”