08th January 2019

Image: Candace Miller.Candace Miller, Executive Director – Learning Services and Consultancy at Skills for Health, said:

“We welcome the release of the Government’s new 10-year plan which sets clear priorities for action to ensure our NHS continues to develop, adapt and renew the services it provides.

It's clear that a great deal of thought has gone into the process of reviewing, focussing and shaping how the NHS needs to operate into the future. And we roundly support the promise of increased investment and targeted action to address critical services and enable more effective use of digital technologies. But we would also sound a note of caution.

As the plan itself acknowledges, none of these ambitions will be realised without strong and effective workforce and organisational development. So, while it’s good to see strong intentions as to the support to be provided for hard-working NHS staff, it’s disappointing that the emphasis is so heavily focussed on the professionals. Of course their roles are vital, and of course they need to be enabled to keep on developing. But to see the planned changes brought into being will call for better utilisation of the whole workforce, not just clinicians or more senior staff. CPD must be for everyone and that must be recognised in the Workforce strategy yet to come.

The plan sets out clear messages about culture change and leadership development - and while those are great ambitions to have, neither will be a quick fix and there will be the inevitable bumps along the way. It will be important not to lose sight of the human impact of changes to roles, jobs and working environment and ensure that the whole workforce goes on this change process together.

Skills for Health provides expert support for all facets of workforce development, transformation and effectiveness, including e-rostering, apprenticeships, workforce planning, leadership and talent management. We look forward to working with NHS England, NHS service providers and other bodies to help turn this plan into reality.”