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NHS workforce plan to ‘fix staff shortages with on-the-job training’

NHS workforce plan to ‘fix staff shortages with on-the-job training’

The Government’s new plan to fix ‘chronic’ staff shortages could see medical school places double and thousands of apprentice doctors trained directly on the job, reports today have suggested.

The Times reports that an NHS workforce plan is due to be published next month and it is expected to bring in the biggest boost in training for a generation and ‘radical changes’ to how the NHS recruits frontline staff.

During a meeting of the NHS board at the beginning of this month, chair Richard Meddings said the long-awaited long-term workforce plan was ‘in the very final stages of development’ and it will ‘underpin all of the transformation work that we do.’

According to The Times , the plan concludes that a ‘huge’ expansion of training will be needed to fix staff shortages, with both medical school places and adult nursing places ‘having to double by the end of the decade.’

This could mean about 15,000 medical school places a year, potentially requiring half a dozen new medical schools, and more than 50,000 nursing places.

The plan could also contain a blueprint for a ‘radical overhaul’ of professional structures and training, with more auxiliary roles and mid-level associate speciality doctors who are not planning to become consultants, as Pulse exclusively revealed last year.

One in eight new doctors could qualify through apprenticeships by the 2030s as the NHS aims to a new path into the medical profession, for people who do not come through the traditional A level route.

The plan is also likely to press ministers to resolve ongoing disputes about staff pay, following strikes announced by nurses, ambulance workers and junior doctors, and the BMA looking at more radical industrial action options for GPs.

A spokeswoman for the NHS told the Times that the NHS workforce plan is still being produced, hasn’t been finalised and will be published this spring.

NHS England is also currently working on a ‘primary care recovery plan’ similar to that already published for elective and urgent care.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Michael Mullineux 23 February, 2023 11:24 am

With 1 in 2 medical graduates leaving the profession due to toxic NHS working environments created by NHSE/HMG this amounts to standing still

Philip Cox 23 February, 2023 12:11 pm

If you have a hole in your bucket, it is better to fix the holes before pouring in more water!

Giles Elrlngton 23 February, 2023 1:13 pm

On the job training may be appropriate for MPs however I think most people would prefer their healthcare delivered by a professional who has completed some training.

The healthcare staffing crisis has been coming for years while the government has been asleep at the wheel.

Dermot Ryan 23 February, 2023 3:26 pm

And so the already rapid decline in clinical standards, so sadly apparent everywhere in the NHS, accelerates. The algocracy will take over, instructed by AI, to deliver uniformy useless solutions, a mile away from the emerging concepts of personalised medicine. This is NHS England looking for a cheap solution ( which it is not) driven by the politicians who want to demosntrate they are doing something, advised by the likes of Kinsey PWC, EY etc whose solutions are all the same, doing more for less not recognising the inherent flaw, that human beings stray far from the means of their algorithms.

Just My Opinion 23 February, 2023 6:06 pm

Been said already but worth repeating, staff DO NOT STAY in the NHS, so it does not matter how many you train you will not solve the staffing problem. This is once again failing to grasp the fundamental problems.
Fix poor pay
Fix punitive pension tax
Fix toxic regulation and litigation

Cameron Wilson 23 February, 2023 6:49 pm

Stand-by for those bastions of quality standards, the GMC and CQC to comment on the matter!!

Iain Chalmers 23 February, 2023 8:15 pm

One assumes there are still enough experienced medics to have capacity to both deliver F2F & training at say time.

Wrong idea at wrong time from people to have no idea IMHO

Keith M Laycock 23 February, 2023 10:34 pm

Insanity it the midst of madness – Management by Meddings, ex-Finance Director (Standard Chartered, resigned after period of high losses, rights issues), ex-banker (Chair TSB), Member of HM Treasury, CBE for services to the Financial Sector.

Obviously super-cognisant of the woes of medical practice and the moribund NHS.

Michael Green 23 February, 2023 11:41 pm

I gone done my BTEC in medicine and I is a doctor now.

John Glasspool 24 February, 2023 8:52 am


Mr Marvellous 24 February, 2023 9:23 am

We’re just 2 steps away from the cleaner having prescribing rights. We’re all EQUALLY important members of the team.

Why stop now…..

Cameron Wilson 24 February, 2023 12:17 pm

It’s like watching the last days of the Reich, when the leadership was conjuring up all manner of non-existent divisions to turn the tide!!! The games a the say!!

john mccormack 24 February, 2023 2:14 pm

All the real doctors will be in Australia, NZ, Canada getting properly rewarded for their efforts in a much superior working environment freed from the nonsense of appraisal/revalidation, constant ill-informed political interference and the Daily Nasties. ( also they won’t accept anyone from the YTP scheme)

Dylan Summers 26 February, 2023 11:25 am

There is already “on the job training”.

We have a 4th year med student clinic at my surgery. I sit in while the students do history and exam, and I ask them about management options.

We get through 6 patients per session.

If that is a viable way to solve the workforce problem, someone needs to explain how.

Truth Finder 28 February, 2023 3:51 pm

Keep transfusing without tying off the obviously bleeding aorta!

Adam Crowther 2 March, 2023 7:52 am

Sounds like a good episode for the apprentice next season🤔 whittling down 20 lucky hopefuls to be NHSE/DHSC s new poorly paid and equally poorly respected “business partner” 😩

Fiona Black 3 March, 2023 12:09 pm

And who will be supervising these trainees “on the job”? So that would take up GP/nurses time to do this, meaning overall less appointments on those days.

Fiona Black 3 March, 2023 12:10 pm

Dylan, exactly my point