NHS England has set out its proposals for the future of the NHS workforce in a document published today (3 June 2019) called the ‘Interim NHS People Plan’, which follows on from the NHS Long Term Plan which was published earlier this year. Commenting on the publication of the Interim NHS People Plan, Chris Graham, CEO of Picker, said:
“We welcome the Interim NHS People Plan’s commitment to ‘put the people who provide and commission care, and those who receive care, at the heart of our NHS’. As Picker have long argued, true person centredness depends upon positive therapeutic relationships between patients and providers of care. There is plentiful evidence to demonstrate the importance of workforce wellbeing and experiences on the quality of patient care, and we are supportive of national approaches that recognises and values the importance of staff experiences.
The NHS Long Term Plan describes an ambitious vision for the health service, but achieving its goals depends on addressing urgent and enduring challenges around the NHS workforce. From its publication in January 2019, it was clear that a comprehensive and effective Workforce Implementation Plan would be vitally important to the future success of the NHS. This has only become more pressing. In February, the NHS Staff Survey showed worsening experiences around wellbeing and work related stress, and a report published in March highlighted the need for action to address a growing staffing shortfall.
The Interim NHS People Plan contains welcome formal acknowledgement of the challenges facing the NHS and its employees – especially around staffing levels, culture, and workforce experience. Many of the actions planned for 2019 will provide a useful starting point but it is clear that there is an ongoing need for detailed planning and investment across the system. For the remainder of 2019, a particular challenge will be for NHS providers and commissioners to develop their local implementation plans in parallel with national work to ‘develop a new offer’ for NHS staff and to set out targets and expectations around BME representation and leadership behaviours. Local organisations and integrated care systems will have considerable responsibilities for developing workforce plans, and it will be necessary for these to be carefully choreographed to deliver the Interim NHS People Plan’s vision of a person centred NHS.”
Picker works with NHS England and with many NHS providers and commissioners to collect staff feedback as part of the NHS Staff Survey and the NHS Staff Friends and Family Test. Together, these programmes provide NHS organisations with rich and detailed evidence about workforce experience, and we encourage all organisations to make full use of these resources in developing their local implementation plans.
Please contact us at info@PickerEurope.ac.uk for further information or to discuss ways of using your staff feedback.