Today NHS England and UK Government have published their ambitious long-term plan for the current and future NHS workforce.
The plan, which comes during record high demands across all health services and over 100,000 staff vacancies, sets out to train, retain and reform the workforce by:
- doubling medical school training places to 15,000 by 2031, with more places in areas with the greatest shortages
- increasing the number of GP training places by 50% to 6,000 by 2031
- almost doubling the number of adult nurse training places by 2031, with 24,000 more nurse and midwife training places a year by 2031
- placing trainees on wards and in practices sooner, with plans to work with the GMC and medical schools to consult on the introduction of four-year medical degrees and medical internships, allowing students to start work six months earlier
- allowing more student nurses to take up jobs as soon as they graduate in May, rather than waiting until September, with more reaching the frontline and treating patients more quickly.
- training around 150 additional advanced paramedics annually, including to support the delivery of same day emergency care
- expanding training places for clinical psychology and child and adolescent psychotherapy, on a path to increasing by more than a quarter to over 1,300 by 2031
NHS England has committed to refreshing the Long-Term Workforce Plan at least every two years to ensure that the plan is adaptable and fit for purpose over the coming years.
RCPCH stands ready to work with Government and NHS England to bolster the paediatric profession over the coming years. It is noted that paediatrics is not mentioned directly in the plan and RCPCH is keenly aware of the need for further investment and resourcing across the specialty and the wider child health workforce. We will continue to engage with Government to make paediatrics a priority.