‘A truly historic day for the NHS’ as long term workforce plan published

The NHS in England has published its Long Term Workforce Plan which sets out how the NHS will address existing vacancies and meet the challenges of a growing and ageing population by recruiting and retaining hundreds of thousands more staff over 15 years and working in new ways.

NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said that the publication of the first ever long term NHS workforce plan was a, “Historic day for the NHS in England’ adding that it, “Gives us a once in a generation opportunity to put staffing on sustainable footing for the years to come.”

The plan sets out long term workforce projections, reduces the reliance on expensive agency staff, and increases training places for medical students, GPs and nurses. By 2028, 16 per cent of all training for clinical staff will be offered through apprenticeships.

A new expert group will be set up to identify advanced technology like Artificial Intelligence to ‘close the gap and free up staff to focus on using their expertise to help patients.’

Welcoming the publication of the plan, Chair of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) Daren Mochrie QAM said, “It will give fresh impetus for ambulance services to continue to play, and in fact, enhance, this role alongside health and social care partners.”

He added, “A 15-year plan of this scope and magnitude is obviously ambitious with the potential to open the door to more trained paramedics, better clinical development and advanced skills for current employees alongside greater educational opportunities for those wishing to gain higher qualifications in their chosen profession.

“AACE looks forward to working closely with its members, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and other key stakeholders to deliver this significant plan for the benefit of both employees and patients.”

The workforce plan will be refreshed every two years.