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NHS England: No set date for the full people plan

NHS England: No set date for the full people plan
By Lea Legraien Reporter
5 November 2019

NHS England has not yet set a date for the release of the workforce plan, it has said.

The interim workforce plan, known as the people plan, was delayed earlier this year after it was due to be published in April.

NHS England told our sister publication Pulse that it has not set a publication date for the full plan, despite initial plans to come out following the September spending review.

The interim plan, published in June, pledged to make general practice a ‘more attractive’ place to work by promoting portfolio careers.

In addition, it committed to rolling out a voluntary two-year Primary Care Fellowship programme for newly qualified GPs and nurses entering general practice by March 2020.

Earlier this month,  NHS England chief people officer Prerana Issar told delegates at the NAPC conference in Birmingham that the plan would be written by the ‘end of November, early December’.

Asked by former NAPC chair Dr Nav Chana when the plan will be published, Ms Issar said it will ‘depend on the Government’.

A clear strategy

In a separate session, Ms Issar told a room full of GPs and other healthcare professionals that the plan will set out a clear strategy to address workforce challenges in NHS services.

She said: ‘What we’re looking at in the people plan, which is the world’s largest workforce strategy, is to say what are the implications in the long-term plan for workforce and how we can make that happen.

‘There’s a real shortage in the GP profession – there’s also a shortage of psychiatrists. It’s a very difficult situation. What’s going to help is a series of interventions on the supply side and the demand side and there are some that require support at a national level and some that can only be done at either primary care network level, ICS or practice.’

She added: ‘The people plan is going to be publishing a model, which actually outlines where some of these aspects of workforce are best delivered so that we’re all clear on what we’re working towards together.

‘[This will include] more money for more training places, more support to staff to stay in work, retention programmes extended and made deeper, occupational health support, having much more diversity and inclusion so that we have people who want to be GPs and work in primary care, expansion of multi-disciplinary teams and some international recruitment as well.’

Ms Issar said that international recruitment is going to be a ‘game-changer’, but insisted domestic supply remains the ‘key’.

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