NHS Improvement (NHSI) and Health Education England (HEE) will work more closely together to tackle workforce challenges, the two bodies have announced.
NHSI and HEE said earlier this week that they will implement a series of measures to achieve improved collaboration and ensure the national workforce system is ‘well aligned’.
The move is part of a strategy to ensure national, regional and local bodies work together to ‘effectively support the NHS’ in light of the five-year funding settlement and the upcoming long-term plan.
The announcement means that:
- NHSI will now approve HEE’s annual mandate, before the Government gives the final approval, to ‘ensure that workforce plans are more closely aligned with NHS service plans’. The mandate sets out the Government’s objectives for HEE on workforce planning, staff education and training,
- From April 2019, the NHS Leadership Academy will no longer be part of HEE. The academy will be accountable to a chief people officer operating under NHSI, subject to ‘necessary consultations’.
- HEE’s four regional teams will be aligned with NHSI’s and NHSE’s seven integrated regional teams to ‘build on strong collaborative working that already exists across the country in support of local health systems’.
Strong workforce ‘critical’
NHSI chief executive Ian Dalton commented: ‘A strong workforce is critical to the future of the NHS.
‘By integrating the work of HEE with NHSI, we will develop a more coherent approach to workforce development across the NHS.
Echoing Mr Dalton’s comments, HEE chief executive Ian Cumming said: ‘As set out in the draft workforce strategy HEE has always said closer alignment between service, financial and workforce planning is essential and I therefore welcome greater collaboration between the bodies responsible for these areas.
‘At national, regional and local level NHS must have confidence that our organisations are working together on workforce challenges to support both day to day delivery and the long-term plan.’