A record number of NHS staff left their posts at the Mid and South Essex Trust last year, new figures show.

NHS figures show almost 1,300 staff resigned from their roles at the trust in 2021-22.

That was up from about 735 in 2019-20 – the year leading up to the coronavirus pandemic – and the highest number since records began a decade earlier.

The neighbouring East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust also saw a record 1,085 resignations last year – up from 780 in 2019-20.

The NHS Digital figures are rounded to the nearest five.

Across the country, 140,000 staff members resigned last year – up from 99,000 the year before – while an average of 101,000 staff resigned annually in the nine years before the pandemic.

The figures cover medical and administration staff.

A resignation does not necessarily mean staff member has left the NHS, as the figures include promotions and relocations.

Pat Cullen, general secretary and chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Years of underinvestment – including a decade of real-terms pay cuts – means record numbers of staff are leaving the NHS.

"Staff are leaving, realising they can get similar or better pay in supermarkets and retail without the stress of the job, and poor pay is creating severe staff shortages and making patients unsafe.

"Nurses, patients, and the public deserve better than a government that won’t listen."

Among the departures across England last year were 30,740 nurses and health visitors who voluntarily left their posts – the highest number on record and a 13 per cent increase on 2019-20.

Of them, 270 were based at the Mid and South Essex Trust – up from 175 in 2019-20.

A record 2,260 midwives resigned across England in 2021-22 – including about 40 at Mid and South Essex.

A Royal College of Midwifery spokesman said: “"Midwives have seen over a decade of pay stagnation, and feel undervalued and burnt out.”

The Department for Health and Social Care said it has given a million NHS workers a pay rise of at least £1,400 this year, as well as a three per cent cost-of-living pay increase last year.

A comprehensive workforce strategy to help recruit and retain more staff will be published this year, a spokesman added.

They said: "There are already record numbers of staff working in the NHS, with 4,700 more doctors and over 10,500 more nurses compared to last year, and we are committed to 50,000 more nurses in the NHS by the end of this parliament."