RPS calls for publication of workforce plan

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.

Yours sincerely,

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


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