This site is intended for health professionals only

HEE launches consultation document over NHS workforce strategy

NHS staff.jpg

13 December 2017

Share this story:
Twitter
LinkedIn

Health Education England (HEE) has launched a consultation document on the health and care workforce strategy for England until 2027.

Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, A health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027 looks at what staff need, the type of staff the health service needs and how to shape ‘a sustainable, free, universal healthcare system’, it said.

Health Education England (HEE) has launched a consultation document on the health and care workforce strategy for England until 2027.

Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, A health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027 looks at what staff need, the type of staff the health service needs and how to shape ‘a sustainable, free, universal healthcare system’, it said.

‘No longer sustainable’

Professor Ian Cumming, HEE chief Executive, said that ‘continuing with a business as usual approach to workforce planning is no longer sustainable’.

He said: ‘There needs to be a major shift in the ways we plan in order to make sure we can meet the health needs of the country’s diverse and growing population in the future.

‘This much anticipated report underlines just how big the workforce challenge is and will spark debate, rightly so.’

NHS England currently spends 65% of its operational budget on its staff. Yet, there hasn’t been a ‘national strategy for recruiting, training and supporting them for over two decades,’ reads the draft.

Even if the NHS has more staff now than at any time in its history, the report said that more must be done to keep up with rising demands from patients, growing and ageing populations and increasing pressures on the staff.

Tackling job vacancy

The report suggests that increasing the workforce alone isn’t enough, as it ‘we to tackle the number of vacancies and staff leaving the profession’.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said that ‘as many parts of the NHS struggle to recruit and retain staff, it is vital to understand and address the reasons for this, which can often include excessive workloads, low morale and a lack of investment in overstretched services’.

He said: ‘We want the NHS to be an attractive and supportive employer, and for staff to have a safe and manageable workload, but we know that many doctors are struggling with stress and burnout.' 

Since the Brexit vote last year, around 10,000 EU workers have left the NHS.

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘It is imperative that the government gets to grips with the current workforce crisis – failing to act will result in the NHS being unable to attract and retain the necessary doctors and staff to meet the population’s health needs, and it is patients who will suffer as a result.’

The final document will be published in July 2018.

Twitter
LinkedIn