Responding to publication of the NHS Interim People Plan, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network said:
“Workforce pressures are undoubtedly the biggest issue currently facing the health service, including in the independent sector. We therefore welcome today’s interim NHS People Plan which calls for a more systems-based approach to tackling leadership and workforce issues, with a clear role for the voluntary and independent sectors in delivering the plan. With IHPN members delivering care to over 10 million patients every year, not to mention the work of social enterprises, voluntary providers or independent ambulance and mental health, a workforce plan only for publicly owned providers would not be the right approach to meet the scale of the current workforce challenges.
“With over 100 000 people employed in the sector, independent providers are ready and able to help improve both recruitment and retention in the health service. Many independent sector providers are looking to expand the number of clinical placements they provide which will play a significant role in helping support the Plan’s commitment to increase the number of undergraduates studying nursing.
“Leadership and culture is also rightly highlighted as an area where real improvements need to be made to improve both staff retention and, most importantly, patient care. The independent sector has much good practice to share in this area, particularly in terms of staff satisfaction levels which are consistently high in the sector, and we are pleased to be working on this with the NHS Leadership Academy to support placements in the independent sector for the Graduate Management Training Scheme.”
“Given the scale of the workforce challenge, there are going to be no easy solutions to recruitment and retention problems in the health service. But today’s interim report represents a step in the right direction, and we are pleased to have been invited to take part in the advisory group for the final NHS People Plan to ensure that it meets the needs of tomorrow’s patients.”