The future of the health and care workforce

December 14, 2017

A new report has been published on the future of the health and care workforce. It is open for consultation until 23rd March 2018.

Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, A health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027 is a whole national system consultation document, produced by Health Education England with content from NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and Department of Health.

The draft strategy takes an uncompromising look at the challenges faced by the health and care system, charting the growth in the NHS workforce over the last five years while setting out the critical workforce challenges that health and social care will face over the next decade.

The strategy is a draft document with a number of areas that will now be consulted upon widely over the coming months. A final report will be produced next July to coincide with the NHS 70 anniversary. It will be as the first comprehensive health and care workforce strategy in over 25 years.

While the NHS is employing more staff now than at any time in its history, with significant growth in newly-qualified staff from 2012 across the majority of professional groups, the report concludes that more must be done to keep up with increased demand as the population expands and grows older.

It responds by setting out a range of measures to improve productivity, boost training and retention, open up new routes into nursing and prepare the future workforce for technological advances such as genomics, artificial intelligence and digital robotics, which are poised to transform modern medicine.

Although HEE does not have any formal responsibility for the social care workforce, the closer integration of health and social care is a long-term policy goal. The report, therefore, includes a section and a consultation question on the social care workforce, recognising that key social care issues are being considered across government.

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.

The consultation on the future of the health and care workforce runs until 23rd March 2018 and anyone can respond via the Health Education England consultation page.


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