The Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately, has commissioned Health Education England (HEE) to review long term strategic trends for the health and social care workforce, alongside HEE’s partners.
It aims to review, renew and update the existing long term strategic framework for the health workforce, HEE’s Framework 15. This is expected to help make sure that the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours are available to deliver high quality clinical services, and continued high standards of patient care.
The framework will also include registered professionals working in social care, such as nurses and occupational therapists, making it the first time for this to happen. As part of the NHS People Plan, the first stage will shape the engagement, and develop the ongoing conversation with partners and stakeholders about long term workforce planning for health and care.
HEE will also soon be responsible for issuing a ’Call for Evidence’ to identify what may have the greatest impact on the health and social care demand over the next fifteen years, as well as looking at what this means for the workforce supply, to support patients and the population moving forward.
Dr Navina Evans, Chief Executive, at HEE, said: “I’m delighted that HEE will lead the Strategic Framework for health and social care workforce, which will be a reference point, and guide decisions on how the NHS and social care approaches problems and identifies solutions in the short, medium and long term.
“This piece of work - which we will lead in close collaboration with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Department of Health and Social Care, and Skills for Care - is testament to the confidence in HEE’s role to deliver at scale and pace.
“As we collectively rethink what the service will look like and what transformation is needed, I would like to urge stakeholders, including patients, service users, and carers, to get involved in the upcoming call for evidence and engagement exercise to help inform the final framework. As the NHS heads into its 74th year, more than ever, patients deserve nothing less than safe, high quality and compassionate care.”
In the past, it has been known to take more than a decade to achieve the required level of expertise and professional training in the NHS. Training as a consultant can take up to 15 years, with nursing taking three. The review of the workforce will look at what mainly drives demand and supply in the long term, and how this may influence the future workforce. It is believed that this will then help identify the main strategic choices.
Ms Whately, said: “People are at the heart of our NHS. It’s our doctors, nurses and other skilled healthcare workers that make the NHS such an amazing institution. Social care depends on its dedicated and skilled workforce too. I want us to look ahead and have a bold vision for the future NHS and care workforce.
“That is why I have asked Health Education England to work closely with my department, NHS England, Skills for Care and the wider sector to update HEE’s workforce framework, to make sure we have the right staff with the right skills for the future of our health and care services up and down the country.”
Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer for the NHS, said: “This work from Health Education England will build on the ambitions set out in the NHS People Plan to grow our workforce, create a compassionate and inclusive NHS and support our staff to fulfil their potential.
“To do this, we will need continued conversation with our partners and stakeholders, whose expertise is vital to ensure our long-term workforce planning provides the best possible experience for patients and staff and I’d encourage everyone to contribute and help us shape an NHS which meets everyone’s needs, both now and in the future.”
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