2015/16 planning guidance: an overview

Writing on paper

22 / 12 / 2014 2.21pm

The leaders of the NHS in England have recently set out new steps to be taken during 2015/16 to deliver the NHS five-year forward view.

The Forward View into action: planning for 2015/16, is backed by the recently announced £1.98 billion of additional funding, with specific allocations for each area of England.

Overall the main focus of the document is on planning, service change and patients care models. It follows on from the NHS England Forward View published earlier this year. It includes a number of references to workforce issues and NHS Employers will be working with NHS England, Healthcare Education England and employers to take this agenda forward. 

In section five the document notes provision of healthcare is "mainly about people not buildings" and it includes a number of references to workforce issues.  Key areas of note include:

  • para 1.12 says that Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) must work with local commissioners and providers to ensure that future workforce meets healthcare needs  
  • para 2.5 says that NHS England will develop incentives for employers that implement health and wellbeing programmes as recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).  NHS Employers anticipates that there will be further information around this in 2015
  • para 2.6 urges employers to take further action to improve health and wellbeing of their workforce.  It says that there will be a new taskforce on healthy workplaces 
  • para 2.14 says all healthcare employers should review their policies to support staff that are carers 
  • para 2.17 highlights the implementation of the NHS Race Equality Standard from April 2015 and says that there will be more work on similar approaches for other equality groups 
  • the most interesting statements are those in relation to developing new care models. In section 3 onwards it identifies that transformation of healthcare in the new model sites (and more generally) will depend on a range of factors including workforce change 
  • para 5.9 onwards - there are several paragraphs on improved workforce planning to deliver new care models including the creation of a new Workforce Advisory Board to help develop the workforce to deliver the new models set out in the Forward View. It also highlights the staffing challenges facing the service and that the NHS will need to address issues such as retention. 

The document puts workforce issues at the centre of the delivery of the changes it calls for, and NHS Employers will be working to help deliver these in 2015. For more information on the overall approach see the NHS Confederation website.

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