NHS will have workforce plan for first time in 17 years, Hunt announces

Authors: Abi Rimmer 

Publication date:  08 Nov 2017


The NHS will have a workforce plan for the first time since 2000, England’s secretary of state for health has announced.

Speaking at the NHS Providers conference in Birmingham on 8 November, Jeremy Hunt said that a draft plan would be published by the end of the year. He said that recent initiatives, such as plans to increase medical student numbers, would form part of a wider NHS workforce plan.[1]

“We are going to take all of this together and put it into the first proper NHS workforce plan that we have had since, I think, 2000,” said Hunt. “HEE [Health Education England] are going to publish a draft of that before the end of the year and we will consult on that, and next year we will publish the final plan.”

Hunt said that the intention was to publish a “robust workforce plan” for the NHS in 2018, the year of its 70th anniversary, that would inspire confidence in NHS staff and the public.

He added, “These plans will also give the chancellor and future governments the confidence that, as they increase funding for the NHS, we are also increasing our capacity to spend that funding on better clinical care. And that is why this is strategically a very important change for the NHS.”

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, welcomed the news of a clear plan for how the NHS would collectively deal with the future supply, retention, and development of its workforce. He added, “This is an opportunity to set out how actions to date will help employers in the short, medium, and longer term, as well as be clear on what further actions will need to be taken at every level of the NHS and across government.”

Charlie Massey, chief executive of the General Medical Council, said that regulation would have a role to play in developing the workforce strategy. “The government’s promise of regulatory reform offers regulators the flexibility to help support these plans, and we look forward to being part of this work,” he said.

References

  1. Torjesen I. Hunt aims for fully home grown doctor workforce. BMJ  2016;355:i5399. [Link]   [Link] .

Abi Rimmer The BMJ

 arimmer@bmj.com

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