The Council of Deans of Health has welcomed the publication today of We Are The NHS: People Plan 2020/21. The Plan addresses the need for the NHS to have more people in training and education to ensure that services are appropriately staffed and highlights the opportunity to build on the renewed interest in NHS careers to expand and develop the workforce, as well as increasing retention.
Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council, said:
“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the overwhelming contribution of the NHS workforce to the nation. It is right therefore that the Plan focuses on supporting and developing staff, including those from BAME backgrounds. Healthcare students must also be able to access opportunities for development and leadership as they move into the workforce.
“We welcome the call for employers to fully integrate education into their plans to restart clinical services. Universities recognise the importance of growing the future workforce and have been working with practice partners to develop additional undergraduate places by over 5,000 for September 2020. The inclusion of funding for continuing professional development (CPD) in the Plan is also crucial for ensuring we have sufficient staff with the right skills and knowledge to support their careers as well as practice educators to support increased student numbers.
“Universities and the academic workforce have also played an important role in supporting colleagues in the NHS at this critical time. The second part of the People Plan, due later this year, must ensure that growth is sustainable and that healthcare higher education is supported to deliver on the ambitions for the future workforce, including meeting local and regional needs. We look forward to working with partners on the next stage of the Plan”.