National health and care workforce strategy unveiled

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A system-wide workforce strategy for the NHS and social care launches today for consultation: Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, A Health and Care Workforce Strategy for England to 2027.

The content has been led and coordinated by Health Education England, but is published as a product of the whole national system including NHS England, NHS Improvement and Public Health England.


The draft strategy looks at the major workforce plans for the Five Year Forward View priorities: cancer; mental health; maternity; primary and community care; and urgent and emergency care.

It also contains recommendations for new programmes including the impact of technological advances, examining how training can be improved to make sure that the workforce is being prepared for the future.  

Importantly, it proposes six principles for all future workforce interventions. These are:
  • securing the supply of staff that are needed to deliver high quality care
  • training, educating and investing in the workforce to give new and current staff the professional flexibility and adaptability to meet the needs of patients
  • providing career pathways for all staff rather than just ‘jobs’ 
  • ensuring that people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, healthcare
  • ensuring that the NHS in its entirety is a modern model employer with flexible working patterns, career structures, and reward mechanisms
  • ensuring that in the future service, financial and workforce planning are intertwined.

NHS Employers will be consulting widely in the coming weeks, to provide a strong and representative response on behalf of employers in the NHS. We will have more detail shortly on how you can submit your views. 

We have also produced an overview of the draft strategy, highlighting its key points, for you to share with your boards. 

Responding to the draft strategy, Danny Mortimer said:

"Employers particularly welcome the commitment for a full and extensive consultation on this NHS workforce strategy.  It is an important step to set out a clear national narrative which describes the impact of the plans to date regarding our workforce, whilst recognising the vital work that is still to be done."

Read the draft strategy on the Health Education England website

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