05th June 2019

NHS Interim People PlanNHS England-Improvement and Health Education England have this week published their Interim People Plan, which sets out proposals to tackle the range of workforce challenges across the NHS, building a health service fit for the future.

The focus is on promoting a more positive, agile and inclusive culture across NHS employers in England and improving staff retention by creating compassionate and engaging leaders, offering better flexible working options and addressing current pension issues.

The interim report, developed in partnership with the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and NHS managers and staff unions, follows on from its Long Term Plan published in January 2019 and sets out how the NHS workforce will deliver on this vision and the immediate actions it needs to take to become ‘the best place to work’.

As found in a report released late last month by Skills for Health, ‘Leadership and Management in the public sector’, employers are facing a range of critical workforce issues and challenges around poor leadership and management which are impacting the delivery of public services and require improvement.

The Interim People Plan covers five key themes:

  1. Making the NHS the best place to work; paying greater attention to why staff leave the NHS, action will be taken to retain existing staff and attract more people to join. A new ‘employee offer’ will be developed following extensive engagement with staff, union representatives and individual employers, setting out the support workers can expect to see ‘from the NHS as a modern employer’.
  2. Improving leadership culture; addressing the need for a positive, inclusive leadership culture across the NHS, by developing a new leadership ‘compact’ establishing the cultural values and leadership behaviours expected from NHS leaders and the support they can expect in return.
  3. Prioritising urgent workforce shortages in nursing; supporting and retaining existing NHS nurses, whilst attracting nurses from abroad and delivering a rapid expansion programme to increase clinical placements.
  4. Delivering 21st century care; developing a multi-professional and integrated workforce to deliver primary and community healthcare services, whilst ensuring the NHS have a flexible and adaptive workforce that has more time to provide care.
  5. A new operating model for the workforce; continuing to work collaboratively, clarifying what needs to be done locally, regionally and nationally, with more people planning activities devolved to local integrated care systems (ICSs).

Responding to the release on Monday 3rd June, Candace Miller, Executive Director of The Workforce Development Trust, said:

“We at Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health very warmly welcome the publication of the Interim People Plan for the NHS. A great institution like the NHS is only successful through the fantastic efforts of its staff, day in and night out. They are fundamental to the services on which we all depend and they deserve to work within a great culture, with outstanding leaders and with career options and opportunities that meet their expectations and let them excel in whatever vital role they play. 

We have been active contributors to the engagement process that led to this plan and look forward to continuing to work at national, regional and local levels and with all stakeholders to deliver the ambitions it set”.

Read and download the full NHS Interim People Plan here.


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