NHS Providers' response to workforce amendment tabled by the Health and Social Care committee chairman Jeremy Hunt
16 November 2021
Commenting on the amendment tabled by the health and social care committee chairman, Jeremy Hunt, which calls on the government to strengthen the workforce assessment and planning provision within the Health and Care Bill, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:
"We are proud to support this amendment and pleased to have helped in its development, alongside 50 other representative organisations in the sector.
"This amendment calls on the government to publish independently verified assessments of current and future workforce numbers.
"After years of underinvestment in the workforce, this clause would enable strategic long-term spending decisions around workforce planning, and provide the basis for a fully transparent, up-to-date evaluation of current and future staffing needs in the NHS.
"Workforce shortages are the key limiting factor hurting NHS leaders' ability to provide the highest quality care over winter, while seeking to quickly tackle the large backlog of care brought about by the pandemic.
"The detailed work called for in this amendment – which would be informed by local, system and national partners throughout the service – could finally set the basis for a fully-funded long-term workforce implementation strategy to improve recruitment and retention, underpinned by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility's long-term fiscal projections.
"This is, without question, an issue that important bodies across health and care, including trade unions, royal colleges, cancer charities and employer representatives in the NHS are aligned on. There is support for this strengthened duty in all parties across parliament, and we look forward to working with our partners, and the government, to see progress against these key aims."