An Audit Commission survey found that half of 300 former public servants had quit because of increasing bureaucracy while 65 per cent cited workload.
People work in services such as education and health because they "want to make a positive difference in people's lives", the auditors found. But they felt more valued by their bosses and the public than they did by Government. Nearly 70 per cent felt their job's image would discourage recruits.
Employers must do more to find out why staff leave: only 3 per cent of departing teachers give exit interviews, compared to 20 per cent of all public-sector workers, says the report, Recruitment and Retention.
www.audit-commission.gov.uk. Telephone 0800 502030 for copies.