The recently published NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (NHS England, 2023) coincides with the 75th anniversary of the creation of the NHS, and heralds a seminal plan to increase staffing levels to match the changing demographics of patients and health needs. The plan is viewed by the Government as ambitious, bold and an opportunity to redress the shortcomings of the current NHS service provision to improve patient care at the point of need. This plan not only sets the biggest recruitment drive ever seen across the NHS (NHS England, 2023), but heralds ongoing future strategic workforce planning to avoid the NHS being in its current predicament. The workforce plan has three main pillars:Train, Retain and Reform, which form the basis for a pragmatic drive locally and nationally for the short and medium term to address current workforce challenges.
The Plan makes significant pledges; for example, it aims to increase the number of GP speciality training places to 6000 by 2031/32, and 500 of those places will be available by 2025/26 (NHS Enlgand, 2023). Adult nursing training places will increase to nearly 38000 by 2031/32, of which 8000 more nurses will start training by 2028/29 (NHS Enlgand, 2023).
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