England’s workforce plan to train 20K nurses by 2019

On the back of reducing cuts to health courses, Health Education England have announced their initiative to train more than 23,000 extra nurses to meet growing demands.

There are particular issues with regard to nurses in the sector – turnover is high at over 30% (over 16,000 leave their role each year), while they have an older age profile to the wider sector (44% are aged 50 or over).  Another important statistic is that over 1 in 3 (37%) are from a non-British nationality which suggests employers are recruiting from abroad.  In terms of pay, nurses are paid less on average (£24,350) than their NHS counterparts.

Training staff beyond induction, for a capable, confident and skilled workforce

The National Health Service (NHS) needs more nurses to complete their degree, particularly with the national body expecting around 31,000 nurses to retire over 2014-19.  Workforce training will help deliver an additional 2,630 extra mental heath workers, 13,048 additional adult nurses, 5,876 extra children’s nurses and 1,567 more learning disability nurses.

This training is part of a wider focus to tackle the GP workforce crisis.

£10m 10-point plan to combat skill shortage

A £10m 10-point plan between the NHS and Health Education England has been designed to improve general practice, with key points of the plan including:

  • Offer GP trainees an additional ‘flexible’ year of training where they can train in a special interest, get an MBA in leadership skills or another academic pursuit
  • Set up ‘training hubs’ for GP practice staff to extend their skills
  • Piloting new general practice support staff to take workload off GPs, such as physician associates, medical assistants, clinical pharmacists and advanced practitioners (including nursing staff).

Since April 2013 Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) have been working collaboratively with providers to deliver effective workforce planning.  Health Education England (HEE) is responsible for commissioning under and postgraduate education, to ensure a workforce in the required numbers, with the right skills, values and behaviours to respond to the current and future needs of patients.

HEE will ensure that local and national plans are aligned with the service planning processes of providers and commissioners, to help turn service strategies and visions into a reality.  The decision-making points for the academic cycle, rather than the financial annual planning round of the NHS often drive workforce, and are necessarily much longer term.

With over 1.3 million staff performing over 300 different types of jobs across more than a 1,000 different employers, the NHS requires a robust workforce planning process to ensure they have staff in the right numbers, with the right skills and the right values to deliver high quality care.

Workforce BluePrint has a range of workforce planning and development tools available to you and if you would like to chat to us about how we might be able to assist you, please contact Wendy via wendy@workforceblueprint.com.au.

December 2015

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