Thomas Wood, freelance data scientist in London, UK. Speciality area: natural language processing (NLP)

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National Health Service – predicting employee attrition

Employee attrition at the NHS

The UK’s National Health Service is the publicly-funded healthcare system in the UK. It is by far the largest employer in the country, with over 1.2 million employees.

The NHS takes in junior doctors, who have recently completed a medical degree, and puts them on a training pathway until they qualify in a specialty, such as cardiology, urology, or general practice. It costs around £200,000 and takes about six years to train a junior doctor to reach the grade of consultant or GP. Naturally, the NHS loses money when junior doctors leave the organisation before completing a training pathway.

Machine learning at the NHS

The NHS needed a way of anticipating and understanding employee attrition.

I designed and trained a machine learning model in Azure ML which was able to predict which employees are at risk of leaving at a given time.

I also discovered a number of surprising factors behind attrition and communicated these back to management where they are being incorporated into the NHS’s future workforce strategy.