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Exit Interview Service

Our tailored and independent service is designed to anonymise exit interview process and bespoke reports, which capture both leaver data for statistical analysis and qualitative information, providing Trusts with assured, open and honest feedback. This enables Trusts to focus on areas that have a big impact on staff retention.

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Exit Interview Service I

The NHS continues to face many challenges - not least from staff retention. Whilst Trusts are aware of several leading contributors to staff leaving, the best way to quantify the actual reasons and to develop a transparent and coherent approach to improving retention is by using a professional and independent solution such as the Exit Interview Service from NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS).



Recent data compiled by NHS SBS revealed that employees leaving NHS organisations has increased dramatically. These range from staff wanting a better work-life balance to insufficient reward packages and a lack of promotional and development opportunities. Accurate and in-depth analysis on staff exits provides NHS Trusts with valuable insights to enable Trusts to focus on areas and actions that have a big impact on staff retention.

Our EXIT INTERVIEW SERVICE provides a tailored solution to meet the specific requirements of each Trust, explaining the reasons why staff leave and providing assurance where there are no underlying issues faulted for high levels of staff turnover. Our detailed reports configured for each Trust show in-depth trends and analysis.

Exit Interview Diagram




Using independent HR professionals to deliver the service enables open and honest conversations that leavers often feel unable to have with their managers or the Trust. This provides the Trust with assurance that the feedback is more open and the reporting and data more valuable than internal surveys.


As an organisation solely focused on supporting the needs of the NHS, we understand that a 'one size fits all' approach to providing workforce solutions fails to recognise the unique challenges faced by different Trusts.

Working in partnership with Solent NHS Trust, we tested and developed our Exit Interview Service, combining a rigorous approach to process supported by technology that is configured for the Trust's specific requirements.


The structure of the exit interview captures key leaver data for in-depth statistical analysis, as well as providing qualitative information, such as personal and detailed reasons for employees leaving.

When partnering with Solent NHS Trust, this approach enabled SBS to provide the organisation with value added data, backed up and supported by a narrative that enabled the Trust to make informed decisions on how to improve workforce relations and reduce staff attrition.

This is an independent service where feedback is more open and the reporting more valuable than internal surveys.


During the development and refinement of the Exit Interview Service, NHS SBS recorded full and complete interviews with 85% of employees leaving the Solent NHS Trust it had approached. This compared favourably to a previous method where just over 33% of employees asked for feedback responded.

As part of the programme, the leavers were also asked to provide feedback on the actual exit interview process itself, rating the service from 1-4. Substantially, 94% of leavers rated the service positively, highlighting the independence and anonymity.


Recognising the financial constraints imposed on the NHS are severe and show no sign of easing, we developed the Exit Interview service to ensure that the cost of delivery is always optimised for each Trust. This is achieved by using a custom built questionnaire, designed by one of our experienced knowledge experts, working with Trust representatives.

All information gathered is relevant, whilst our process guarantees as many leavers as possible complete the interviews, resulting in value-added support being delivered.


One of the key benefits is the depth of analysis on the data we source from conducting the dialogue with each leaver. This material is personal and honest due to it being often given anonymously. 

Subsequently, our reports really do provide an assurance that any underlying issues are exposed and the confidence that there are no hidden issues.

Using experienced and qualified professionals also allows for areas of immediate concern to be identified and raised with the Trust, and to signpost individuals to employee assistance programmes if appropriate.

Our quantitative reports provide in-depth understanding of the reasons for staff leaving, length of service and what Trusts could have done differently to affect results. Our analysis also allows interviewees to open up about experiences they may have been affected by, such as bullying, harassment and discrimination and covers written narratives from employees aimed at identifying what could have been done to prevent them from leaving the Trust.


Exit Interview Service II



The value of the service can be found in 3 main areas:

• Tailored interviews focused on Trust challenges

• Independence and assurance

• Analysis and reporting


The Exit Interview Service focuses on quality throughout its process, from the design of the content and flow of the interview questions to the qualified exit interviewers. Our expert data analysis allows Trusts and healthcare organisations valuable information to act upon to make meaningful changes in improving employee retention.

Based upon the time and costs involved in running an interview service, we believe a professional and independent service conducted by industry experts with in-depth knowledge in the area makes a compelling business case. Additionally, it provides trusts with great value for money, delivering value-added back office support and enabling them to focus on strategic decision making and workforce improvement activities.

During the testing and development of the Exit Interview Service, Solent NHS Trust provided us with very positive feedback, both in terms of the leavers experience with the process and the reporting they received. Our processes increase the percentage of leavers undertaking exit interviews giving the trust a well-rounded picture of reasons that people leave, helping to reduce staff turnover.

Exit Interview Service III


By providing accurate information on leavers so that they could tackle workforce challenges head on and try to improve staff retention.



In addition to the financial savings set out, the benefits include:

• Improved recruitment process will tend to result in reduced staff turnover/increased retention

• Potential to raise the profile of the Trust as an employer across county and region

• A resilient service able to manage fluctuating demand and staff changes in the recruitment team

• Valuable reporting and management information

• Information to support group workforce planning


Solent NHS Trust


"The impartial and anonymous nature of the NHS SBS process cannot be underestimated. People feel more able to give the real reasons why they are leaving and aren't limited to providing just one, as they are with ESR. So, for us, the data becomes far more meaningful, revealing and reliable."

Ceri Connor, Associate Director of People & Organisational Development at Solent NHS Trust



Talk to us... speak to our NHS Recruitment Services expert michael.tresise@nhs.net

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