There’s never been a more important time to support the UK’s Healthcare HR teams

Image: HPMA logo

By Paul Tingle | 23 April 2020

As the concerns of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) escalate, it’s more important than ever before to support the people working behind the scenes, helping to manage the ever-changing needs of the clinical workforce, to keep us safe. HR Managers across our healthcare workforce are facing the most challenging times the NHS has ever seen.

We all have a role in this pandemic and it’s vitally important that everyone plays their part to protect the vulnerable and save lives. For HR teams in NHS Trusts and the wider healthcare sector, there is so much added pressure with increased staff absence, returning to work arrangements, recruitment and retention, training, communication, wellbeing, the list goes on.

Just before the outbreak, we came together with HPMA (Healthcare People Management Association) to join their illustrious membership scheme, to help support the UK’s healthcare HR workforce. Recognising the HR leads who are in critical roles to help the workforce, and the country get through these trying times.

It’s with effective HR teams leading the way, that front-line staff will be able to operate effectively, smoothly and safely to get through the crisis. Operational support staff in the NHS make up over 40% of the workforce, and it’s crucial to ensure they have the support, tools and recognition they deserve, to keep the system running day-after-day.

As the Sector Skills Council for Health we are specialists in workforce development, statutory/mandatory training and developers of the Core Skills Training Framework. It’s crucial that HR teams have the support they need to keep their own workforce highly skilled with the right tools.

HPMA have over 40 years’ experience as the leading voice for HR professionals in healthcare, and previous partnership initiatives with Skills for Health have included delivering events on apprenticeship support and training.

To continue supporting the NHS during these unprecedented times, and to recognise the new partnership between these two charities, we are providing our free COVID-19 online learning resource to all HPMA members, to ensure HR managers throughout the NHS have the best possible knowledge and guidance to support their teams.

Dean Royles, President, HPMA said:

“These are enormously challenging times for our members who are going above and beyond to support all healthcare workers through Covid19. We see our collaboration with Skills for Health as providing an important resource for our members through Covid19 and beyond.

All our workforce professionals are providing a pivotal role in supporting all staff, including those at the front-line, but also those with less of a visible role. We are very often supporting others and sometimes neglecting ourselves. It is fantastic that we can recognise the contribution of these workforce professionals and invest in them to help ensure they are up to date; feel they supported and can continue to work effectively through these difficult times.”

John Rogers, CEO, Skills for Health said:

“All organisations in the health sector will be facing huge challenges over the coming months. We see our primary role as supporting not just our front-line services, but those operational teams such as HR departments, without whom the clinical workforce simply couldn’t function during these incredibly difficult times.

We all need to play our part, putting people and patients first. We’re delighted to be working closely with the HPMA to show our support for the HR workforce, whose needs we will continue to try to meet to ensure they can support their own staff providing them with the right skills, crucially at the right time.”

To access our free online learning resource visit

Paul Tingle


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