My final message for the year, comes as the NHS is once again facing unprecedented challenges with the COVID Omicron variant. As we rally together to deliver the accelerated booster campaign and respond to huge urgent and planned care pressures across the country, ‘Our NHS People’ never fail to astound and inspire, and I am incredibly proud to be part of the nation’s efforts.
There is no doubt that we need to focus on delivering the services urgently needed today, however, we must also remember that we have thousands of learners working across all professions who are part of the NHS workforce too, caring for patients who need their help. To take our eye off the ball on this will not only have an impact now but for many years to come. Afterall, the NHS cannot provide high quality, safe clinical services without a highly trained and experienced workforce to deliver it.
Despite all the challenges throughout the year I think it’s important to remind ourselves of how far we’ve actually come and what we’ve achieved together. Some of this year’s highlights include:
- More than 30,000 individuals accepting places to study nursing in 2021 - a 35 per cent increase since 2018
- A record number – over 4,000 new trainees have accepting placements to become GPs joining specialist general practice training in 2021/ 22
- Doctors currently in training were supported with an additional £30 million to help address the impact of the pandemic on their training
- Two million registered users now accessing essential health and care training through the HEE e-Learning for healthcare online platform
- Expansion of clinical placements - £15 million funding additional clinical placements across nursing, midwifery, allied health professionals (AHPs) and healthcare science, in 2021/22
- £15.9 million investment expanding frontline pharmacy staff in primary and community care, over the next four years
- HEE commissioned to review long term strategic trends for the health and social care workforce for the first time.
As we head into the festive season, there is no doubt that this Christmas will once again be very different. It has been another tough year for the NHS, but we have continued to work extremely hard to attract a diverse range of people to rewarding health and care careers. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the vital contributions of Our NHS People, and I am hugely proud of their commitment in these challenging times.
As we look ahead to the New Year our focus will remain on the education and training of our current and future workforce as we work with NHS England and Improvement and other ALB partners to co-create a stronger organisation that aligns workforce, financial and service planning with education and training.
I look forward to working with you all in the New Year. Wishing you all, a safe and healthy festive break.
Dr Navina Evans
Health Education England
This Page was last updated on: 17 December 2021