The RCP has responded to a Health and Social Care Committee oral evidence session into workforce and resilience in the NHS and social care.
Following the evidence session, Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “The RCP was pleased to hear that the minister of state for social care is working with the NHS chief people officer to make sure NHS staff get time off and time out.
“As I’ve said before, the past 12 months have been some of the hardest many of us have ever faced in our careers. Scheduled time off when the worst of the pandemic is over will give staff the strength they need to face the next challenge of tackling pent-up demand of non-COVID-19 care.
“But while we agree these considerations are of the utmost importance, the really important part of recovery planning is accepting that we need to grow the NHS workforce. As the chair of the committee said, without the publication of independent projections of the number of doctors and nurses we need, we simply don’t know if we’re training enough.
“The RCP has done its own calculations and published a fully costed blueprint for expanding medical school places. We also know Health Education England has made projections using ONS population predictions. What we now need is for the government to publish the data it has and make recommendations for expansion.”
This follows recent comments from Sir Simon Stevens, NHS CEO, that ‘anything that can bring predictability’ to workforce planning would be welcome.