NHS urgently needs a fully costed and funded long term workforce plan

20 July 2022

Responding to analysis published by the Health Foundation's REAL Centre on nursing targets, the director of policy and strategy and interim deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

"This analysis is the latest in a string of evidence which underlines why the NHS urgently needs a fully costed and funded long term workforce plan.

"With over six and a half million people now waiting for treatment and wider care backlogs for community and mental health services, it's vital that trusts have the right number and makeup of staff to accelerate backlog recovery by expanding workforce capacity in the NHS.

"Trusts are doing all they can to address the 100,000 vacancies they face, from partnerships with local education institutions which encourage uptake in NHS careers, to offering greater flexibility in working hours and patterns wherever possible to aid retention.

"But local initiatives simply won't be enough without national intervention. We were deeply disappointed the government didn't act on the call from over 100 health and care organisations for a workforce planning amendment to the Health and Care Bill that has now received Royal Assent.

"The pay award announced yesterday will also impact the services' ability to recruit and retain staff, given that it does not keep pace with the sharply rising cost of living for all staff groups.

"Now all eyes are on national bodies and the government to ensure that the NHS has the workforce plan it desperately needs, as soon as possible. We also look forward to seeing the detail of Health Education England's review of Framework 15, which should give a useful strategic grounding for such a plan."