The RCP has signed a joint letter calling on the government to strengthen provisions on workforce planning in the Health and Care Bill ahead of its second reading on Wednesday 14 July.
The letter, published in the Times today, sets out how the Health and Care Bill is a vital opportunity to learn from past failures and improve workforce planning. It calls on government to amend the Bill to ensure that in future England has robust, independent projections of the health and social care staff that the country will need.
This is a call that the RCP has made throughout the engagement and consultation process leading up to the publication of the Bill, including in the recent position paper ‘RCP view on NHS workforce planning: the case for transparency and accountability’.
Despite widespread support from across the health and care sector, provisions for independent workforce projections were not included in the Bill. The letter signatories call the lack of these provisions in the Bill a ‘glaring omission’.
A properly staffed health and care system is central to recovering services after COVID-19 and continuing to deliver the care that patients need and expect. It takes time to train professionals working in health and care, from nurses and doctors to pharmacists and carers, and so we must act now to prepare for the challenges we know are coming in future with an ageing population.
Alongside the president of the Royal College of Physicians, the letter is also signed by the chief executives and senior representatives from the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund, NHS Confederation, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, NHS Providers, Nuffield Trust, National Voices, the BMA and the Royal College of Nursing.
The RCP has also produced a briefing for parliamentarians ahead of second reading.