March HPMA newsletter
‘The NHS Long Term Plan published today is a step forward from the 5 Year Forward View which barely mentioned workforce at all. However when it comes to the NHS workforce this plan falls considerably short of what is needed. It is bizarre that a workforce strategy will follow later. The way we recruit, retain, lead and deploy staff is the very essence of a long term service plan, not an appendix to it.
HR professionals in the NHS have been highlighting the growing recruitment problems and the increased pressure this places on committed staff for a number of years. HR professionals have been innovative and creative to help alleviate some of the problems but it is not a sustainable solution. Many NHS leaders have stated that workforce issues are more challenging than the financial pressures of an underfunded NHS, and yet, it is clear from this long term plan that this rhetoric doesn’t match the reality. We need targeted resources that not only meet the increase need in the supply of staff, but also focuses much needed attention on retention, staff health and wellbeing, effective people management practices, training and development and help in improving the working environment for staff. It is also essential to work effectively, in partnership with trade unions to develop workable solutions with them that will reap significant rewards for staff and patients’.
Dean Royles, President Elect, HPMA