Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, the draft workforce strategy published last year by Health Education England (HEE) on behalf of national NHS bodies, said that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), working with HEE and other partners, would review national organisational roles and responsibilities to ensure that the national workforce system is well aligned.
The announcement of a long-term funding settlement and work to develop a long-term plan for the NHS has further reinforced the importance of ensuring that national, regional and local organisations are working effectively together to address workforce priorities.
We have also taken account of the new joint working arrangements between NHS Improvement and NHS England. This includes the creation of a new People directorate led by a new Chief People Officer, a shared post between NHS Improvement and NHS England, and hosted by NHS Improvement, with responsibility for providing a cohesive approach to recruiting, retaining, deploying and developing the current NHS workforce.
In light of this, and building on recent constructive joint work to develop workforce priorities for the NHS Long Term Plan, HEE, NHS Improvement, NHS England and DHSC have agreed the following measures to improve how we work together:
- HEE will work jointly with NHS Improvement to develop its mandate for 2019/20 onwards. HEE’s board will continue to sign-off the draft mandate, but as a new step the mandate will then need to be approved by the NHS Improvement Board to ensure it meets service requirements, before approval by the Secretary of State. This will ensure that workforce plans are more closely aligned with NHS service plans.
- Subject to any necessary consultations, the NHS Leadership Academy will transfer from HEE to the new NHS Improvement and NHS England People function from 1 April 2019, maximising the natural fit between the work of the NHS Leadership Academy and the People function’s responsibility for executive and non-executive leadership and talent across the NHS.
- We will identify opportunities for HEE’s regional teams to align with NHS Improvement/ NHS England’s integrated regional teams to continue to build on the strong collaborative working that already exists across the country in support of local health systems.
These changes will help ensure that our organisations work much more closely together to support local health systems to recruit, train, develop and retain the staff the NHS depends upon, and in enhancing leadership across the service.
HEE and NHS Improvement are working with DHSC to develop a joint plan to put in place the new arrangements.
Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of Health Education England said:
As set out in the draft workforce strategy HEE has always said closer alignment between service, financial and workforce planning is essential and I therefore welcome greater collaboration between the bodies responsible for these areas. At national, regional and local level NHS must have confidence that our organisations are working together on workforce challenges to support both day to day delivery and the long-term plan.
“The move of the NHS Leadership Academy to NHSI also allows the Academy to align even more closely with NHSI’s responsibility for talent management.”
Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement, said:
A strong workforce is critical to the future of the NHS. By integrating the work of Health Education England with NHS Improvement, we will develop a more coherent approach to workforce development across the NHS.
“I look forward to building a closer working relationship with Health Education England and welcoming colleagues from the NHS Leadership Academy from next April.”