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New national advisory board to look at NHS workforce issues

  • 10 Comments

A new national board tasked with advising on workforce issues is to be created, planning guidance for the NHS in England has revealed.

Details of the workforce advisory board were unveiled in NHS England’s planning guidance for 2015-16, which was published at the end of last week.

The board will be chaired by Health Education England and include “senior membership from across the system”.

“There is a need for a much closer alignment between workforce and service planning”

Howard Catton

The planning guidance sets out four areas of initial focus for the board. These include efforts to improve staff retention and attract former healthcare workers to return to roles suffering from shortages, such as nursing, emergency medicine and general practice.

It will also be used to offer support to what NHS England regards as “challenged health economies” where workforce shortages are exacerbating problems.

Other areas of work for the new board will include identifying new roles to deliver the ambitions set out in the NHS England’s new five-year plan, the Five Year Forward View, although the guidance gives no specific detail on what this might be.

In addition, will look at the training and skills of the workforce ahead of new care models coming into force.

Howard Catton, policy director at the Royal College of Nursing, welcomed a national workforce board.

He said: “We have highlighted for some time that there is a need for a much closer alignment between workforce and service planning.

“We think this could be extremely helpful in providing and coordinating a more immediate focus on what needs to be done in the short to medium term,” he said. “It will allow a space for a more genuine multidisciplinary discussion.”

  • 10 Comments

Readers' comments (10)

  • How about valuing the staff you already have????

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  • LOL , what a great solution more groups in meeting rooms !

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  • why will this one be better than any of the previous advisory boards? put the people and the hours they are going to devote to these studies to work on the wards instead!

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  • And how much will this cost!!!

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  • i have some advice....DONT go into nursing...you get treated like a second class citizen by this govt.

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  • Agreed

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  • The board will be chaired by Health Education England and include “senior membership from across the system”.

    You only have to ask staff on the ground and patients, much cheaper than 6 figure salaried staff, and will give you the answer after one meeting. I have been to senior meetings, as a junior band 6 and 7 and discussed the same agenda year in, year out. What a waste of money that could be put into improving staffing levels and patient care. However, it may not have any significance at all once the NHS is privatised completely!!

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  • "Short termism" needs to be removed from work force planning. Decisions about the numbers to train have a time lag associated with either increasing or decreasing numbers.

    The "brilliant" managers will , of course, continue to do there own thing and view training budgets as soft targets for cuts.

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  • Agreed with previous comments. Any changes in govt, can't come quick enough. Hopefully not more rhetoric. Yes ask/involve staff on frontline, better yet execs should work 1 week per month in a frontline role and deal with all anxious queries personally.

    Usual issues to address; value staff + remuneration, long-term retention + development, support staff, staffing levels + skill mix, unrealistic expectations + targets and valuing the profession. Do it before we burn out please.

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  • In order to really run a good and efficient service it is essential to listen to staff on the front line. They will provide the ideas and potential solutions, which executives may not like but must consider if staff are to be valued, retained and rewarded.
    I agree with the comment that all executive and current planning staff should spend a week at least on the front line doing basic tasks and facing the issues and challenges of working long unsocial hours often without breaks.

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