The Interim NHS People Plan, formerly the Workforce Implementation Plan promised in the NHS Long Term Plan, covers staffing levels, recruitment and education issues. It also states a commitment to making the NHS the best place to work; to be achieved by improving leadership, and tackling “cultural problems” – through more inclusive and person-centred leadership. NHS managers will get more support and development opportunities.
Regarding nursing, there is funding for 5,700 extra hospital and community placements for student nurses, and an increased number of nursing associate roles, rising to 7,500. International nurse and doctor recruitment will increase.
More multi-disciplinary working will support the NHS Long Term Plan goal of integrating primary and secondary care. Staff will have access to training in digital skills via the NHS Digital Academy to better realise the potential of new technology. More flexible working and career development will be allowed.
The main section hadings comprise:
- Making the NHS the best place to work.
- Improving the leadership culture.
- Tackling the nursing challenge.
- Delivering 21st Century care.
- A new operating model for workforce.
- Developing the full People Plan.
- Other resources.
It is called an Interim NHS People Plan because the development of a workforce strategy to tackle nurse, GP and hospital doctor shortages etc. is still underway. The actual NHS People Plan is to be published after the Autumn spending review.
Interim NHS People Plan. London: NHS Improvement, June 2019.
There are also mini-plans for the allied health professions and psychological professions, dentistry, the science workforce, the medical workforce, and the pharmacy workforce.
Comment and analysis from BBC News:
Pym, H. (2019). Can the NHS get all the doctors and nurses it needs? London: BBC Health News, June 3rd 2019.
International Nurses and Doctors Recruitment
Pause for thought / reality check:
NHS staff shortage: How many doctors and nurses come from abroad? London: BBC Health News / BBC Reality Check Team, May 13th 2019.
Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice is Deputy Chief People Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement.
New Deputy Chief People Officer to help make the NHS the ‘best place to work’. [Online]: NHS England, July 19th 2019.