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06.04.18

Royal colleges voice four ‘immediate concerns’ ahead of workforce strategy

The government has been urged to focus on four key points when developing the new health and care workforce strategy.

Following Health Education England’s consultation on the draft strategy, ‘Facing the facts, shaping the future: A draft health and care workforce strategy for England,’ which Ian Cumming wrote about for the latest issue of NHE, leaders from eight royal colleges and faculties have issued a joint statement setting out the areas the government should priorities.

They said that although they “agree with the broad direction of travel and common-sense principles outlined,” there are four points of immediate concern.

The leaders have called for a single, robust source of supply and demand data to enable them to plan effectively for the long term, and which brings together information about the health needs of the population, the number of people in the workforce, how they move within it, and why they leave.

It is “critical” that the UK can employ healthcare and research staff in order to reduce pressure and improve the wellbeing and morale of staff, so it must be accessible and attractive to people from overseas, they argued.

They have also called for national leadership and investment in public health initiatives, which they say are necessary to protect people from harm and to help them lead healthier lives, as well as reducing the demand on the NHS.

A further consultation must be held on the first draft of a full strategy, otherwise the government and its partners run the risk of missing an “excellent opportunity for consensus and co-production,” they warned.

Top image: Jirsak

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