RPS England has joined with professional bodies, trade unions and patient groups to call on the Government to publish the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan.
A joint letter signed by almost 40 organisations raises concerns over ongoing delays to the publication of the workforce plan and urges the Prime Minister to take urgent action to help meet current and future patient needs.
English Pharmacy Board Chair Thorrun Govind said:
“The range of health and care leaders backing this letter shows just how important it is that the Government acts now to support our workforce.
“It is vital that we recruit and retain the staff we need so we can keep looking after patients.
“When we met NHS England in January, pharmacy leaders called for the plan to include the whole of pharmacy and to recognise the increasing role of pharmacist independent prescribers in our health service.
“With teams under pressure across the system, this workforce plan also needs to support staff retention, secure protected time for learning and development, and ensure continued access to wellbeing services.”
Dear Prime Minister,
As organisations representing the health professions, patients, NHS staff and NHS organisations, we are dismayed at the continuing delay in publishing a funded health workforce plan for England. We urge you to act by publishing a sustainable plan immediately. None of your policy commitments on health can be achieved unless we address the chronic workforce shortage.
Across all sectors, professions, specialities, condition pathways and services there are mass vacancies and insufficient numbers of staff to meet current, let alone future, population need. It will take time to resolve this situation, which is why the delay in acting to address the workforce crisis is so damaging. The sooner we start to train and recruit more staff, and act to retain those already serving the public, the sooner we will see improvements in healthcare.
Many of us have contributed to developing the workforce plan. We want it to succeed. We want to be able to welcome it if it provides the long-term vision needed and clearly commitments to funded workforce expansion. Please act now.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK
Shantel Irwin, Chief Executive, Arthritis Action
Sue Brown, Chief Executive, Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance
Henry Gregg, Director, Asthma & Lung UK/Chair of the Taskforce for Lung Health
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive, Breast Cancer Now
Gary Fereday, Chief Executive, British Association of Art Therapists
Jane Bourne, Chair, British Association of Dramatherapists
Andrew Langford, Chief Executive, British Association of Music Therapy
Peter Iliff, Chair, British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists
Steve Aspinall, Chief Executive, British Association of Sport Rehabilitators
Liz Stockley, Chief Executive, British Dietetic Association
Sarah Mistry, Chief Executive, British Geriatrics Society
Veronica Greenwood, Chair, British and Irish Orthoptic Society
Prof. Phil Banfield, Chair of Council, British Medical Association
Nadra Ahmed, Chair, Care Provider Alliance
Prof. Karen Middleton, Chief Executive, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Tracy Nicholls, Chief Executive, College of Paramedics
Luke Griggs, Chief Executive, Headway
Paul Donaldson, General Secretary, HCSA - the hospital doctors union
Maurice Cheng, Chief Executive, Institute of Osteopathy
Jon Restell, Chief Executive, Managers in Partnership
Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation
Georgina Carr, Chief Executive, Neurological Alliance
Juliet Tizzard, Director, Parkinson’s UK
Mark Koziol, Chairman, Pharmacists’ Defence Association
Duleep Allirajah, Chief Executive, Richmond Group of Charities
Suzanne Tyler, Director, Royal College of Midwives
Steve Ford, Chief Executive, Royal College of Occupational Therapists
Dr Camilla Kingdon, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Prof. Mike Osborn, President, Royal College of Pathologists
Michelle Scott, Chairman, Royal College of Podiatry
Steve Jamieson, Chief Executive, Royal College of Speech & Language Therapy
Craig Jones, Chief Executive, Royal Osteoporosis Society
Thorrun Govind, English Pharmacy Board Chair, Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Richard Evans, Chief Executive, Society of Radiographers
Nik Hartley OBE, Chief Executive, Spinal Injuries Association
Charlotte Nicholls, Head of Policy, Stroke Association
Christina McAnea, General Secretary, UNISON
Chloë Hayward, Executive Director, UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum