NHS Workforce Plan "an important step forward"

IHPN has responded to the publication of the Long Term Workforce Plan for the NHS, describing its arrival as “an important step forward”.

The plan, which sets out a framework over the next 15 years, has committed funding of £2.4bn over the next five years.

Headline commitments include to double the number of medical school training places to 15,000 a year by 2031/32, and increase the number of places in areas with the greatest shortages.

Additionally, the plan aims to increase the number of GP training places by 50% to 6,000 by 2031/32; increase adult nursing training places by 92% to nearly 38,000 by 2031/32; and ensure over a fifth of all training for clinical staff is provided through apprenticeship routes by 2031/32.

Responding to the report, IHPN Director of Policy David Furness said: “We welcome today’s Long Term Workforce Plan – it’s an important step forward in ensuring the sustainability of the health system.

“The increase in training places, bringing more professionals into the health service, is good news.

“The Plan makes clear that the independent sector will continue to play an important role, as it does now, in providing placements and training for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals in the future.

“We look forward to working with stakeholders across the system to shape and implement the Plan’s recommendations, building on the strong foundations already in place to ensure the independent sector contributes to delivering a robust, well-trained and well-supported workforce across the healthcare system.”

The publication of the Workforce Plan is an important step forward in securing a sustainable future for the UK health workforce. The plan acknowledges the obvious need to train more domestic workers and the increase in training places is the main headline commitment.

The focus on training will only be intensified now that the report has been published and we will be working with government and the NHS to ensure not only that the needs of independent sector providers are taken into account in workforce planning but also that we are well positioned to strengthen the training offer across the independent sector.