This morning the Government published its long-awaited long term workforce plan for the NHS.
Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians said:
"This is an important first step towards a sustainably resourced NHS. RCP and over 100 others have consistently called for Government to provide this essential plan. We welcome the £2.4 billion investment to expand the whole domestic workforce, including doctors, nurses and other vital healthcare professionals.
"Keeping as many of our existing hardworking staff as possible is absolutely critical. Hospitals must improve conditions, tackle burnout, and keep hardworking current and future staff. Time off for significant life events, getting rotas in good time, rest areas, ensuring the availability of food and drink and more flexible working and training are all key. Improving these things could also help attract back experienced doctors who have either recently retired or left the NHS in recent years.
"We particularly welcome the extra medical school places, and the focus on placing them in areas of greatest need, which we have long called for. The planned expansion of specialty training places for these new doctors is good news - funding will be needed, but increasing the number of students is the right start. While the current data does not allow projections for each speciality, we look forward to working with NHS England to get this in place for the future.
"It is key that the proposed changes to training are made in close conjunction with experts including medical schools, postgraduate training providers, the GMC and NHS England - we look forward to seeing more detail on this.
“We are pleased to see that our call has been heeded to keep the plan under regular review, ensuring patients get the care they need from a multidisciplinary workforce, where and when they need it.”
The plan includes a number of things that the RCP has been calling for:
- Funding (£2.4 billion for the 27% expansion in training places by 2028/29)
- A commitment to review and refresh every two years
- 15,000 medical school places
RCP will now analyse the detail of the plan, including the projections and modelling.
You can read the full version of the plan here.