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A once-in-a-generation partnership opportunity for the NHS and Education

30 June 2023

Today is a pivotal day for the NHS as we have published, for the first time in NHS history a comprehensive plan to ensure we have a workforce that is sustainable for the long term.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan prepares the NHS for changes in demand and demography and how we will need to deliver services differently in the future to deliver better patient care.

Many of you will be familiar with what’s in the plan as well over 100 stakeholders across 60 organisations have helped us make sure the plan is based on what the NHS needs. Thank you for this invaluable input that has underpinned the contents of this plan.

As part of that feedback, we were told there are not enough staff to deliver the quality and quantity of care needed, so the plan sets out a series of steps around education and training, retention and reform to address the problem.

This means a significant increase, to record numbers, in education and training with more medical, nursing and AHP student places, alongside the expansion of new roles such as physician associates and nursing associates.

We will increase the number and proportion of apprenticeships creating opportunities for people to join the NHS from a range of different backgrounds and with a wealth of different experiences.

We will also change how we train, focussing on broader teams with flexible skills to deliver more services in the community, supported by new technology. These reforms will also allow us to get graduates into the workforce quicker and give learners a better learning experience to prepare them for work in a modern NHS.

Things won’t change overnight but with this workforce plan, we are making huge investments and can start to take actions today that will shape the care needed for the future.

As our Chief Executive, Amanda Pritchard has said this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put NHS staffing on sustainable footing for the years to come. We can’t do this alone, but together, this partnership opportunity between the NHS and education, will make a huge difference.

I look forward to working with you.

Best wishes


Dr Navina Evans

Chief Workforce Training and Education Officer

NHS England

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This Page was last updated on: 30 June 2023