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Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future

A draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027

Workforce strategy

Our first ever system-wide draft strategy and consultation for health and social care services in England was published in December 2017.

The consultation has now closed. 

The draft strategy sets out the current workforce landscape, what has been achieved since 2012, the work underway and describe an approach to shaping the face of the NHS and social care workforce for the next two decades.

Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future – a draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027 condenses and considers the outputs of major workforce plans for the priorities laid out in the Five Year Forward View – cancer, mental health, maternity, primary and community care and urgent and emergency care.

It has been developed by the whole health and care system and this is why it is branded as being both an NHS and Public Health England document. The NHS logo collectively covers bodies such as HEE, NHS England and NHS Improvement, whereas Public Health England is not an NHS body.

Thank you for your views to inform the Workforce Strategy that will be published in July 2018 to coincide with the NHS's 70th birthday.

This is our first opportunity for a quarter of a century to ensure we have a comprehensive systemwide understanding of our workforce needs for the future; be that next year, five years away, or a decade away. This document outlines five years of action, taking on challenges as they arose, and finding solutions, but the future needs more than fixing as we go along. Agreeing what we need is the first step to planning the capacity and capability measures to deliver what we need. This document takes the first step – together we need to take the next one.

This document frames some of the big and urgent workforce questions that can no longer be ducked. It marks the start of what needs to be an open, inclusive and comprehensive process involving staff, providers, and patients groups to develop practical solutions for the coming decade.

This is a very welcome publication as we head towards the 70th anniversary of the NHS and seek to ensure that patients continue to receive safe, high quality care and support with staying healthy. This consultation is an important opportunity to engage publicly in that debate.

The reality is that we cannot keep continuing the way we are. The strategy for the next five years needs to look at how we continue to deliver our services more effectively and that’s what the consultation sets out to do. First and foremost, we need to get serious about prevention as well as supporting carers of patients who want to stay at home.

We know the NHS is under pressure, whether we’ve experienced this first-hand or are caring for a loved one. That’s why it’s so important that you share your views on how we can improve our health and social care services – not just for today but for generations to come.

This consultation is a much needed step in the right direction. NHS staff are the greatest strength of any hospital and it is crucial that they are well equipped for the roles they carry out. With an ever changing landscape in health and social care, hospitals will face many challenges over the coming years. It is important that NHS Trusts recruit and retain staff and provide them with opportunities and training to enhance their future skills to face these challenges.

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