NHS workforce plan needed to recruit and retain more staff

12 July 2021

Responding to the British Medical Association's report on medical staffing in England, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:

"This report rightly highlights worrying workforce shortages and attrition rates for doctors, and the gap between staff supply and service demand which we are seeing across all areas of the workforce.

"All health staff are under unsustainable demands because of this. For too long, they have been asked to provide discretionary additional efforts in the delivery of patient care.

"This is why we have been calling for a fully costed and funded multi-year workforce plan, to recruit and retain more staff.

We welcomed the new duty on the secretary of state to set out workforce planning responsibilities.

"We welcomed the new duty on the secretary of state to set out workforce planning responsibilities. We also believe the Health and Care Bill will be an opportunity to ensure the development of regular, public and long-term workforce projections, with regular input from all relevant NHS arm's length bodies, the frontline and expert bodies.

"The plan must take into consideration that existing staff are moving away from traditional career paths and working patterns, and it is vital that more flexible ways of working are enabled.

"It is also vital that staff are able to raise concerns at work, which is why trusts have extensive whistleblowing processes in place, including freedom to speak up guardians.

"Trust leaders are working hard to create the right cultures to facilitate supportive working environments, and they are clear that it is unacceptable for any member of staff to feel threatened to speak up."

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