The next phase of the NHS People Plan in England will focus on workforce growth and “ensuring it has the right skills mix in place for a flexible and modern NHS”, the Care Minister Helen Whately has said this week in answer to a written parliamentary question.
Jonathan Gullis MP (Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North) asked “what progress [the] Department has made on increasing (a) recruitment and (b) retention of (i) doctors and (ii) nurses in the NHS.”
Ms Whately responded:
“We are the NHS: People Plan 2020/2021 sets out actions to expand and develop our workforce by retaining staff for longer and building on the renewed interest in National Health Service (NHS) careers. The next phase of the NHS People Plan will focus on workforce growth and ensuring it has the right skills mix in place for a flexible and modern NHS.
“Through its ‘looking after our people – retention programme’ which launched in the summer of 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement are supporting employers and managers to value, support and retain their staff both clinical and non-clinical. This is achieved through a new employer portal of guidance and best practice and direct support for systems and organisations across each of the domains of the people promise. Flexible working and the health and wellbeing of staff remain a key focus of the retention initiatives.”
In the aftermath of COVID-19, it is clear that the wellbeing of staff will be a key priority for workforce leaders, alongside recruitment and retention programmes which address staffing gaps which may have been widened by the impact of the pandemic.
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