This site is intended for health professionals only

NHS workforce implementation plan delayed again

The workforce implementation plan has been delayed again.

The plan, which will aim to address key issues facing the NHS workforce, was expected to be published by NHS Improvement (NHSI) in early April. 

But the dates are now yet to be confirmed by NHSI.

There were brief mentions of workforce in the NHS long-term plan, which was published in January, but it also acknowledged a comprehensive strategy for the NHS workforce would be published later in 2019.

The long term plan said: ‘NHS workforce planning will always be complex and never an exact science, whether led nationally, regionally, or locally.

‘Our aim is to ensure a sustainable overall balance between supply and demand across all staff groups.

It added: ‘A workforce implementation plan will therefore be published later in 2019. NHS Improvement, HEE and NHS England will establish a national workforce group to ensure that such workforce actions agreed are delivered quickly.’

National executive lead for the interim workforce plan Julian Hartley has said the plan will need to answer questions laid out in the spending review, which is due to take place in the autumn, according to HSJ.

Pulse revealed in January that health secretary Matt Hancock had not set a date to meet the Government target to recruit 5,000 more GPs reiterated in the long-term plan.

In March, three major think tanks published a report stating that GP numbers will fall 7,000 short within five years. The report also outlined various general practice policy recommendations for the NHS workforce implementation plan.

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard previously said the forthcoming workforce implementation plan must launch ‘effective strategies to boost the pipeline of GPs.’

The Scottish Government’s workforce plan was also delayed after it was supposed to be published at the end of 2018 and had been delayed until January.