quote HEE facebook linkedin twitter bracketDetail search file-download keyboard-arrow-down keyboard-arrow-right close event-note

You are here

‘The challenge of workforce planning’

4 March 2022

Ask anyone in health and care sectors what the major challenge is and workforce will be the answer. Then ask the same people what should be done, and their answer is better planning. 

The real answer is transparent, cooperative, funded social care integrated planning with interventions matched to deliverable timelines. The health and care system needs to work as a collective force for good.  

To this end, HEE is working with partners to ensure the system has the data, expertise, analysis, and tools to make plans feasible; the service, finance, and workforce alignment to make them tenable; and logical, effective delivery time frames to make them workable.

HEE also has unique responsibilities and capability for the long-term planning of our workforce. The ability to think more freely, the broadest range of workforce interventions, the possibilities of new technology, treatments and medical advances, and the demographic changes that drive new thinking. 

This is why HEE is working with Skills for Care, think tanks, providers, staff, students, trainees and other ALBs to create a framework for workforce planning 15 years out, for the first time covering both health and social care. Our third deliberative event will take place on the 22nd March, to conclude this work. 

The Framework for Health and Social Care Workforce Planning will help ensure we have a workforce with the right numbers, skills, values, and behaviours to deliver world leading services and high standards of care to a population vastly different to the one we care for today. 

Decisions we take today will still reverberate in 2037. A medical student attending her first undergraduate lecture this September will just be starting her career as a specialist consultant in 15 years. We can’t educate and train her to work in the same organisation with the same case mix, technology, and knowledge as a consultant today if she is to work in the NHS in 2040 and beyond. This is why we are looking broadly across the education system at education reform, and potential changes to nursing and AHP training and education which must be future focused. 

To support the clinicians of the future and their patients, our plans need to align, relate, and use all levers at all levels to be relevant, deliverable, and effective. We can’t continue with providers, systems, colleges, regulators, NHSE/I and HEE doing different things at different stages with a different lens. 

ICSs and the new national leadership organisation bringing together NHSE/I, HEE, and NHS Digital gives us a once in a generation opportunity to align finance, service, and workforce planning across multiple interdependent timelines. An opportunity we owe to current and future generations to take. Read more here. 

Best Wishes


Dr Navina Evans

Chief Executive 

Health Education England

Posted by

This Page was last updated on: 4 March 2022