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RCP joins call for independent future staffing needs assessments

As the Health and Care Bill prepares to enter it’s second reading in Parliament, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has signed a joint letter calling on the Government to strengthen the provisions on workforce planning.

The letter, published in The Times, outlined how the Health and Care Bill represents an opportunity to improve workforce planning and learn from past mistakes.

In particular, the letter calls for the new Bill to ensure that in future England has ‘robust, independent projections of the health and social staff that the country will need’.

This is a stance that the RCP has reiterated on multiple occasions in the past, including during the engagement and consultation leading up to the publication of the Bill and in a recent position paper.

In particular, despite widespread industry support for independent workforce provisions, their non-inclusion in the Bill has been described by signatories to the letter as a ‘glaring omission’.

Alongside the President of the RCP, the letter is also co-signed by chief executives and senior representatives from the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund, NHS Confederation, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, NHS Providers, Nuffield Trust, National Voices, the BMA and the Royal College of Nursing.

The RCP has also prepared a briefing for parliamentarians ahead of the second reading.

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As was outlined by Sir Simon Stevens when the NHS announced their green plans back in 2020, 5,700 lives could be saved each year by improved air quality. Even more could see their overall health improve and be in a position to self-manage their conditions, rather than requiring NHS treatment. Covid-19 has already left the NHS with a sizeable treatment backlog, so anything which can be done to improve patient health and reduce demand is beneficial for all.

Working together, we can help the NHS realise its green ambitions as per the Net-Zero National Health Service report and its ambitious 2040 target. Join us on August 25, 2021 for our Net-Zero NHS event, where we will be joined by health sector leaders and innovators for a day of sharing best practice and networking.

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