HEE to review long-term trends for health and social care workforce
"Producing a long- term plan is important, but the Government then needs to commit the funding required to meet the plan and support NHS employing organisations, training institutions and the wider NHS system to deliver any required increase in staff." Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers
Health Education England (HEE) has been commissioned by the Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately, to review long term strategic trends for the health and social care workforce.
This will review and update the existing long term strategic framework for the health workforce, HEE’s “Framework 15”, to help ensure the NHS has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours to deliver high standards of patient care.
For the first time, the framework will also include registered professionals working in social care, such as nurses and occupational therapists.
The first stage will build on the engagement established as part of the NHS People Plan and develop an ongoing conversation with partners and stakeholders about long term workforce planning for health and care.
Achieving the required level of expertise and professional training can take more than a decade in the NHS. It can take 15 years to train a consultant, and typically three years for a nurse to qualify, thus investment in the workforce needs to reflect the needs of tomorrow as well as today.
The work will look at the key drivers of workforce demand and supply over the longer term and will set out how they may impact upon the required shape of the future workforce, to help identify the main strategic choices.
HEE launched a “Call for Evidence” on 20 July which will run to 6 September, to identify the factors that may have the greatest impact on demand for the health and social care sector over the next 15 years.
Responding to the announcement, Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers, said: “We are pleased to see that ministers have begun to heed our, and others’, calls to take rapid action on workforce shortages, given the current mismatch between demand and capacity in the NHS, and levels of staff vacancies and burnout. We welcome the emphasis on the importance of long-term workforce planning.
“Health Education England is well-placed to undertake this work given their expertise and their ability to act as a convener of a range of different interests in the production of a long- term workforce plan. Producing a long- term plan is important, but the Government then needs to commit the funding required to meet the plan and support NHS employing organisations, training institutions and the wider NHS system to deliver any required increase in staff.
“There is also lots of existing evidence showing that there are already significant shortages in many areas so the government must start investing more in the NHS workforce now. It must use this autumn’s spending review to set out how it will respond to the current shortages and any long-term needs.”
HEE says that it will also be running virtual engagement events in future months.