We enter 2022 with the NHS facing unprecedented demand. It truly is a winter like no other. The past two years have taken and continue to have an inevitable strain on our NHS people and our health and care learners across all professions, whose training and education is a key part of NHS service delivery and frontline patient care every single day.
The pandemic has had a huge impact on us all both personally and professionally. Our learners have been at the forefront of the NHS COVID response with doctors in training and placement student nurses, midwives, AHPs and healthcare scientists, caring for patients whilst doing everything they can to keep their training and education on track to ensure they can continue to progress with their careers safely and enter the workforce on time to safeguard supply.
We have learnt a lot since the beginning of the pandemic, and we are keen to ensure that much of this influences training and education reform over the coming years. We know the difference learners can make to the quality of NHS services and care; you can see and feel the value they bring as an instrumental part of the NHS workforce today as well as in the future.
Our health and care learners, educators and partners in training and education delivery should be incredibly proud of their personal and collective contributions. Vince Lombardi, the former American football coach, said, ‘The measure of who we are, is what we do with what we have,’ and he was right. I can only continue to repeat our gratitude for all that you do.
Looking at the year ahead, workforce is a top NHS priority. This is absolutely as it should be; the NHS is nothing without its people. COVID continues to have a significant impact on the wellbeing of our people and learners, and we must do all we can to support them to recover and get back on track with their training and careers. With this in mind, HEE’s work alongside Skills for Care to bring together health and social care leaders to co-create a long-term workforce framework for the health and social care workforce is continuing, with fantastic engagement from a vast number of stakeholders. We look forward to sharing more about this with you in the coming months.
Without a doubt it has been the most challenging time in the history of the NHS. Yet, we have grown, developed, learned, and been tested like no time before. I know you are tired that the marathon we were promised feels more like a long-distance endurance race, but I also know you are passionate about our NHS people, our health and care learners and the communities we serve, and you know just what an incredible difference we can and do make.
Thank you for everything you have done, and all you will do in 2022 to support our learners and to protect our future workforce pipeline.
Dr Navina Evans
Health Education England
This Page was last updated on: 7 January 2022