Staff retention and workforce planning at heart of NHS

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced new reforms that will put recruitment, training and retention of NHS staff and digital transformation at the heart of the NHS in England.

Sajid Javid says that the plans will aim to see more patients benefit from the best possible care, with the right staff in place to meet patients’ needs. This will sit alongside the strategic NHS workforce plan that ministers previously commissioned to report in Spring, looking at what the workforce of the future should look like.

Javid is also setting out his intention to merge the body responsible for the education and training of the health workforce, Health Education England, with NHS England and NHS Improvement, putting long-term planning and strategy for healthcare staff recruitment and retention at the forefront of the national NHS agenda.

Javis has also accepted the recommendations of Laura Wade-Gery, non-executive director at NHS England and chair of NHS Digital, including to merge NHSX and NHS Digital into NHSE/I.

By merging these three organisations with NHSE/I, government and the NHS are ensuring the health and care sector is fully equipped to face the future and deliver for patients.

Javid said: “To ensure our record NHS investment makes a lasting impact, I am bringing workforce planning and digital transformation into the heart of the NHS. These reforms will support our recovery from Covid-19 and help us tackle waiting lists to give patients excellent care in years to come. I would like to pay tribute to all our colleagues at Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHSX for the enormous progress they have made, which we will continue to drive forward with their help.”

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: “NHS organisations have worked more closely than ever to respond to the Covid pandemic and these changes build on that success. Digital and workforce are central to transforming the NHS to tackle the backlog and recover services after the Covid pandemic, as well of course deliver on our Long Term Plan commitments and maintain momentum of the lifesaving NHS Covid vaccination programme, all while looking after thousands of patients in hospital with the virus. By coming together in this way, the whole health service can continue progress in delivering these goals.”

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