Record recruitment and reform to boost patient care under first NHS Long Term Workforce Plan

From: NHS England
Published: Fri Jun 30 2023

Record numbers of doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare staff will be trained in England as part of the first ever Long Term Workforce Plan published by the NHS and backed by the Government today.

Coming ahead of the health service's 75th anniversary, the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan sets out how the NHS will address existing vacancies and meet the challenges of a growing and ageing population by recruiting and retaining hundreds of thousands more staff over 15 years and working in new ways.

The NHS plan, a once in a generation opportunity to put staffing on a sustainable footing and improve patient care, focusses on retaining existing talent and making the best use of new technology alongside the biggest recruitment drive in health service history to address the gap.

It was commissioned and accepted by the Government, which has backed the plan with over £2.4 billion to fund additional education and training places over five years on top of existing funding commitments.

For the first time the Plan sets out long term workforce projections. Staffing shortfalls have been an issue since the foundation of the NHS and vacancies now stand at 112,000.

The growing and ageing population, coupled with new treatments and therapies, means that without action, the gap could grow up to 360,000 by 2037.

The NHS plan aims to reduce reliance on expensive agency spend that could cut the bill for taxpayers by around £10 billion between 2030/31 and 2036/37.

Since its foundation the NHS has relied on the skills and dedication of staff who have come here from around the world and there will always be a place for them.

However, with demand for healthcare staff rising around the world the Long Term Workforce Plan sets out the path to:

  • double medical school training places to 15,000 by 2031, with more places in areas with the greatest shortages
  • increase the number of GP training places by 50% to 6,000 by 2031
  • almost double the number of adult nurse training places by 2031, with 24,000 more nurse and midwife training places a year by 2031.

Taken with retention measures, the NHS Plan could mean the health service has at least an extra 60,000 doctors, 170,000 more nurses and 71,000 more allied health professionals in place by 2036/37.

Advances in technology and treatments mean that staff numbers and roles will change over time so the NHS will refresh the Long Term Workforce Plan at least every two years to help meet future requirements.

This plan will kickstart efforts to address current shortages with an immediate boost in training numbers. By 2028, government investment will mean half a million trainees will have begun clinical training, on a path to increase by over 60% by 2031.

Over the next five years alone medical places will increase by almost a third, nursing degrees will increase by more than a third and GP training places will jump by a quarter.

To ensure the NHS can draw on the widest pool of talent, more training places will be offered through degree apprenticeships so staff can “earn while they learn” - gaining a full degree while ensuring they meet the high clinical standards required by the relevant professional regulators, including GMC and NMC.

One in six (16%) of all training for clinical staff will be offered through apprenticeships by 2028 - including more than 850 medical students.

The growing number of nursing degrees will be accompanied by a 40% rise in nursing associate training places over five years, with increases in other associate roles which will support and free up other clinical colleagues.

A renewed focus on retention, with better opportunities for career development, improved flexible working options, alongside government reforms to the pension scheme, should mean that up to 130,000 staff stay working in NHS settings longer.

Investment in new technology will also help to close the gap and free up staff to focus on using their expertise to help patients.

The NHS will continue to harness advances in AI, with an expert group being set up to identify advanced technology that can be best used across the country.

Other measures to boost the NHS workforce include:

  • Trainees will be 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.
  • More student nurses will be able 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.
  • New medical schools could also open up in areas of the country where there is the greatest staffing shortfall, with similar plans for postgraduate medical training places.
  • Train around 150 additional advanced paramedics annually, including to support the delivery of same day emergency care.
  • Expand 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.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: “This is a truly historic day for the NHS in England - for 75 years, the extraordinary dedication, skill and compassion of NHS staff has been the backbone of the health service - and the publication of our first-ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan now gives us a once in a generation opportunity to put staffing on sustainable footing for the years to come.

“As we look to adapt to new and rising demand for health services globally, this long term blueprint is the first step in a major and much-needed expansion of our workforce to ensure we have the staff we need to deliver for patients.

“We will take practical and sustained action to retain existing talent, we will recruit and train hundreds of thousands more people and continue to accelerate the adoption of the latest technology to give our amazing workforce the very best tools to provide high-quality care to millions of people across the country each day.

“Crucially, this plan will also ensure there is an NHS career choice that works for everyone now and in the future, so if you are interested in working for the NHS, or have loved ones who might be, please do find out more - it is a decision I have never regretted.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “On the 75th anniversary of our health service, this government is making the largest single expansion in NHS education and training in its history. This is a plan for investment and a plan for reform.

“In the coming years we will train twice the number of doctors and an extra 24,000 more nurses a year, helping to cut waiting lists and improve patient care. And we will do more to retain our brilliant NHS staff and reform the way the health system works to ensure it is fit for the future.

“This is something no other government has done and will be one of the most significant commitments I will make as Prime Minister - acting as the cornerstone for our vision for a better, more modern healthcare system and putting the NHS on a sure footing for the long term.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Today marks an unprecedented investment to train thousands more NHS staff and deliver more doctors, nurses and healthcare staff in the community than ever before - taking us above current average staffing levels across the OECD.

“Our plan will end the reliance on expensive agency staff, while cutting waiting lists in the coming years and building an NHS which can match up to the scale of tomorrow's challenges.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “The NHS is the biggest employer in the country and holds the affection of the British people because of the staff who work around the clock to care for us. The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, backed by significant government investment, shows our determination to support and grow the workforce.

“It sets out how we will deliver the biggest expansion of staff training in NHS history, retain more talented people and harness cutting-edge technology.

“As we celebrate the NHS's 75th birthday, we are marking the occasion with an unprecedented plan that will further boost our drive to cut waiting lists and ensure the service can continue caring for us for generations to come.”

NHS National Medical Director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said: “This report is a milestone moment for doctors and countless other NHS staff who have made the NHS what it is for the last 75 years and ensures we have the measures in place to continue to deliver for patients for the foreseeable future.

“The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan sets out a clear roadmap to grow the number of medical training places, improve retention of our existing talent and reduce the vacancies at hospitals across the country, all with the goal of delivering for our patients in generations to come.”

Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “Nurses and midwives are the beating heart of the NHS - we simply could not deliver the quality of care we do for millions of patients each and every day without them.

“This momentous plan will provide thousands more with the opportunity to join one of the most rewarding careers on offer, while also supporting our current staff to develop and flourish in their careers - ensuring we have the staff we need to continue to deliver for patients for years to come.”

Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty said: “Ensuring the future NHS workforce and public health system will able to respond to the future shape of health needs is essential.

“The proposed reform of NHS training and staff retention will help train and retain NHS staff, assist clinicians to retain their generalist skills and create opportunities for more people to study and train in parts of the country that have historically struggled to recruit.”

Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “This plan has been a long time coming to fruition and we are so pleased and relieved that it is finally here. The fact that there now is a plan is thanks to the consistent lobbying of more than a hundred health and care organisations, including the NHS itself, and a Government that has seen the value in planning for a future beyond just one political cycle. It is also important that this plan is seen as the first of many and will be evolving over time, so where people feel it is not providing the detail or nuance they were seeking now, they have the assurance of influencing future versions. We know things are very tough for patients and the hard-pressed, health and care staff right across the UK, so I for one sincerely hope this plan brings hope with glimpses of a more positive future to all who work in the NHS and the millions of people who rely on it every day.”

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The NHS relies on its people and has been in dire need of a long-term workforce plan to ensure it not only exists but is thriving in years to come. We look forward to seeing the full plan, but what we're hearing are some encouraging proposals, including that it will contain initiatives to retain GPs and our teams in the profession, as well as recruiting more. The devil will be in the detail, and also the delivery - we need to see work begin to ensure this plan becomes a reality as a matter of urgency.”

Professor Neil Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: “The publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is a historic moment in shaping the future of healthcare in England. It is my hope that it will guide us in building a flexible and adaptable NHS workforce, equipped to meet the evolving needs of our patients. I am particularly pleased to see proposals to expand medical school and training places across all areas. It signals a renewed commitment from the Government to investing in healthcare professionals. Embedding a culture that truly values staff and their wellbeing, making them want to stay working in the NHS, will also be vital. If we can get this right, I am in no doubt the plan will pave the way for a brighter and more resilient health service.”

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This plan is long awaited and much needed. We are pleased to see the emphasis on retention of midwives and also the support for apprenticeships to boost the maternity workforce. We all want this plan to be successful, so it is important to ensure it is fully and properly funded.”

Tase Oputu, Chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in England, said: “Pharmacy leaders have been united in calling for the workforce plan to cover the whole of pharmacy and it is welcome to see this reflected today. Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and wider pharmacy teams will be crucial to reducing health inequalities and supporting the health service of the future so that patients can continue to access the medicines and care they need. With pharmacists delivering more clinical services and with growing numbers of pharmacist independent prescribers, it is really positive to see the plan commit to investing in pharmacy education and training. We all want to see improved support for our workforce so we can keep looking after patients, including steps to recruit and retain pharmacists within the profession. How this plan is put into practice, backed by long-term funding, will be key to its success.”

Sara Gorton, Head of Health at UNISON and Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers and Co-Chairs of the Social Partnership Forum representing NHS employers and health unions, said: “The publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is a significant and welcome moment. We acknowledge the detailed engagement that the Social Partnership Forum has had on the way to developing the plan. We look forward to further close engagement with NHS England and partners on its implementation and future development”.

Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “The publication of today's workforce strategy will be an important milestone for both staff and patients, and in reinforcing public faith in the NHS. We have been clear for a long time that the enormous challenges the NHS faces cannot be met without sufficient numbers of staff, and we hope that this plan will address the long term workforce issues relating to retention and recruitment. We will assess the workforce strategy on two points; will it result in the expansion of safe, effective and compassionate care, and will it allow more patients to become partners in their own care and in the design and delivery of the services they use. Patient involvement in how the workforce strategy is implemented will be key to making it a success.”

The chief executive of NHS Providers, Sir Julian Hartley said: “Trust leaders across hospital, mental health, ambulance and community services will welcome this long-awaited plan and its ambition to put the NHS workforce on a sustainable footing. Health service staff are the lifeblood of the NHS. This plan has the potential to be a real step-change moment, with national backing for work to recruit, retain, train and support highly valued NHS staff as they strive to provide the best possible care for patients now and in the future. To ensure the plan's success, it is vital we see an emphasis on positive cultures and quality improvement in NHS Trusts alongside a laser-like focus on implementation and funding.”

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “This plan offers hope to the almost 1.4 million staff working in the NHS in England who have been holding out for such a comprehensive plan to boost recruitment and retention. We must now all work together to ensure it is effectively delivered. The government should be commended for backing NHS England to produce a thorough, bold and ambitious plan - one that has taken on board much of what the wider NHS has been asking for. There is much to welcome, not least the planned doubling of medical school places, the ambitions around apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships and the commitment to recruit more staff into mental health, community care and primary care roles. The focus on boosting retention is also vital as, if anything, it's more important than the supply side of the workforce equation. We see this plan as the crucial first leg in a three-legged stool that the NHS needs to revive and thrive - the other two being an equivalent plan for the social care workforce, alongside extra investment in capital and technology. Both will be required to achieve the plan's laudable ambitions, particularly when it comes to the level of productivity increases that are envisaged.”

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “Employers will hugely welcome this ambitious plan to boost workforce numbers over the course of its 15-year lifespan. A long-term assessment of what we need and how we get there in terms of staffing has long been needed, and to see this finally delivered, along with crucial government investment, is a significant step forward for the NHS and its people. It reinforces the plans for the longer-term development of services in our communities and responds to the opportunities of new technologies and ways of working. When implemented, it will boost domestic recruitment and supply and reduce use of expensive agency staff. It will also provide clearer and better career pathways for our existing people as well as future generations of health workers.”

Louise Ansari, chief executive of Healthwatch England, said: “Patients will really welcome the news that the NHS will train more doctors and nurses. All too often, we hear stories of people whose care is delayed, cancelled, or postponed because there are not enough staff to meet the demand the NHS faces. People will want to understand how quickly this ambitious aspiration will turn into frontline staff to help patients, and how that will improve access to healthcare.”

Jacob Lant, Chief Executive of National Voices, said: “The workforce plan is a big step because for the first time Government and the NHS have agreed a baseline for the number of staff required to ensure patients get the help they need over the next decade and beyond. The next steps for this will be critical and implementation needs to be planned in partnership with patients and communities to ensure the right staff with the right skills are deployed in the right places and in the right specialties. To do this the NHS also needs to recruit, train and retain the right admin and managerial staff to help deploy the clinical resource as effectively as possible”.

Jane Lyons, CEO of Cancer52, said: “The publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is a major achievement after years of campaigning by the wider cancer community. It's a significant moment for all who have campaigned for it, but of course the key will be in the delivery and how it is followed up. Cancer52 has 111 cancer charity members working to improve outcomes for people with rare and less common cancers, who comprise 47% of cancer diagnoses. As a rare and less common cancer charity community we are particularly pleased to see the Long Term Plan commitment to ensure that all cancer patients, including those with secondary cancers, have access to a clinical nurse specialist or other support worker, being restated. These nurses and support workers are often quoted by patients as critical in how people feel about their experience of cancer, and we need more of them with specialist knowledge of the rare and less common cancers.”

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Speak to people who use mental health services and you will hear how they've witnessed first hand the pressure that staff are under and the impact it has on their care. We welcome the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan and its aims to increase the workforce across a range of roles as mental health services face ever-growing demand for support. A compassionate, well-trained and well-resourced NHS workforce that collaborates with social care and the voluntary sector is integral to supporting people severely affected by mental illness to recover and have a good quality of life. This is about both numbers and people, ensuring all services are adequately staffed to provide high quality care, while also supporting the wellbeing and career development of those staff who do such an important job.”

Vicki Nash, Associate Director of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at Mind, said: “Tackling the gulf between the level of need and the NHS' ability to deliver care depends on the capacity of the workforce so it is encouraging to see a commitment to expanding the mental health workforce. The support of an understanding, empathetic clinician can make all the difference to people's lives, so the workforce must also reflect the communities they serve and actively tackle the stigma we know still exists around so many mental health problems.”

Professor Sir Steven West CBE, DL, President, Universities UK, said: “Universities power our National Health Service - training our doctors and nurses as well as carrying out life-changing research and providing testbeds for vital innovation. Universities UK welcomes the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan as a major milestone and we thank all those involved in its development. Universities stand ready to help implement the plan's ambitious commitments not just to expand health student numbers but also to offer new routes into the clinical professions and new skills for the future. We look forward to working in partnership with government and NHS leadership to deliver the plan for the future of our NHS.”

Chair of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) Daren Mochrie QAM said: “The ambulance sector, its employees and volunteers play an integral part in the delivery of care across health and social care. We therefore very much welcome this new long-term NHS workforce plan, which we hope will give fresh impetus for ambulance services to continue to play, and in fact, enhance, this role alongside health and social care partners. A 15-year plan of this scope and magnitude is obviously ambitious with the potential to open the door to more trained paramedics, better clinical development and advanced skills for current employees alongside greater educational opportunities for those wishing to gain higher qualifications in their chosen profession. AACE looks forward to working closely with its members, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and other key stakeholders to deliver this significant plan for the benefit of both employees and patients.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), said: “Nursing and midwifery are rightly at the heart of this plan. Investing the time, money and effort needed to ensure we have a growing, capable and confident nursing and midwifery workforce is the right thing to do.

“There's much to welcome. The firm commitment to nursing and midwifery as graduate professions. Increasing education opportunities and diversifying the routes to qualification through degree apprenticeships. Expanding the numbers of health visitors, school nurses and district nurses who will help deliver care and support where people need it most, in their communities. It's important the plan doesn't stop there, and it's good to see this acknowledged. To reap the benefits of the ambitions set out in this plan nurses, midwives and nursing associates need to be valued and supported, their diversity celebrated and the discrimination and racism some face, resolutely tackled.”

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the GMC, said: “We warmly welcome the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan. There is an urgent need to address the extreme pressures the health system is facing and to put it on a more stable footing. We are pleased to see the expansion of medical school places laid out in the plan, and ready to play our role in enabling that to happen. Bringing more professionals into the system is vital for the long-term sustainability of the workforce. However, it is equally vital that we keep hold of the talent we already have, and that the needs and contribution of our existing doctors are not overlooked as the UK pipeline is developed - including the internationally qualified doctors who play such a vital role in patient care. Increasing medical school places also cannot come without a corresponding growth in trainer capacity. This is vital both for medical students and newer professions like physician associates and anaesthesia associates.”

Skills for Care CEO Oonagh Smyth said: “Skills for Care is pleased to see the publication of the NHS Workforce plan. The prioritisation of prevention and community and mental health services is very welcome. While the plan does not cover social care, it will have to be delivered in partnership with people working in social care who bring a depth of expertise in prevention, personalisation, wellbeing and person-centred support.”

Nadra Ahmed CBE, Chair, Care Provider Alliance, said: “The Care Provider Alliance welcomes the publication of the NHS workforce plan. Social care providers share the same staffing shortages, funding challenges and cost of living pressures as our NHS colleagues. We are committed to tackling those challenges together and welcome the framework the plan provides to enable us to work within it while we work towards an equally necessary plan for social care.”

Royal College of Radiologists President, Dr Katharine Halliday, said: “We warmly welcome today's ambitious plan, which will bring a much-needed boost to the number of doctors and other healthcare professionals being trained and a focus on the key issue of retention. For years we've been calling for solutions to the workforce crisis, and this plan sets out a clear agenda. We look forward to working with NHSE on the details of how this boost in medical students will translate into more senior doctors, ensuring that clinical radiologists and clinical oncologists are able to deliver world class diagnostics and cancer treatment. The key to the success of this plan will be in the delivery, however. Long term funding is essential so that health service leaders can plan ahead and embed the necessary changes. Equally, Trusts must recognise their responsibility and play a key role in ensuring staff have the resources and support to work to their full potential. Retention alone is incredibly complex, but the stark figures in our Census suggest that 75% of leavers in 2022 were under 60, and we need to focus on retaining staff now. There will be no quick fix, but with funding, innovation and commitment, the long term health of the nation could be in a much better place.”

Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “The publication of the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan has been much anticipated and is very welcome, as is the ambition to double medical school places. This is something we have been calling for, as it is critical to ensuring first sustainable, and then growing numbers of psychiatrists. A long-term plan for staffing the NHS is crucial to improving patient care and reducing the access gap. While we look forward to reading it in detail, the Plan provides an important framework for future-proofing mental health services by recruiting and retaining much-needed psychiatrists and other mental health care professionals. We also look forward to learning more about how the workforce expansion plans will be implemented to ensure we can continue to deliver on the NHS Long Term Plan, as well as the clinical review of standards and Mental Health Act reform.”

Dr Adrian Boyle, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “We welcome this commitment to setting out a long-term strategic plan for the health service in England. This is the first of its kind and we hope that this will be the sustainable footing on which an adequately staffed and resourced NHS can be built. The longevity of this plan recognises that the improvements needed will take time - there are no shortcuts to delivering quality. We are pleased to see the commitment to providing more training places and the importance of retaining staff by creating a better culture in the NHS. We now look forward to understanding the numbers, timelines and money behind the strategy, and working to support the training and development of staff working in Emergency Medicine, so we can look after our patients better.”

Professor Mike Osborn, President, The Royal College of Pathologists said: “This is a really significant investment in the health workforce, and so in patient care. Patients need a properly resourced, supported and sustainable pathology workforce. This plan sets out a route to achieve this. We welcome in particular the three-pronged approach of train, retain and reform. All these elements are vital, as is a long-term commitment to the plan to ensure the real promise of this announcement is fulfilled.”

Prof Karen Middleton, Chief Executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), said: “The CSP has called for a funded workforce plan for at least the last ten years, so this is a step forward by NHSE. The bottom line is we need more physios and physio support workers working in the NHS. Of course we will offer constructive challenge where needed, but having this plan allows us to have meaningful discussions with NHS England, and local NHS bodies, about how to expand and develop NHS physiotherapy.”

Tracy Nicholls, CEO of the College of Paramedics, says: “The College of Paramedics welcomes the long-awaited publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, something we and our AHP colleagues have been campaigning for. We look forward to reviewing the content in detail to ensure that our profession has the resources we will need to support the future of health and care by members of our profession. We are pleased to see support for issues such as the intent to increase workforce numbers, to develop more paramedics into enhanced, advanced and consultant-level practise through a cogent development pathway and the inclusion of an increase in educators to enable this. We also recognise the imperative of enhancing the workforce with support worker roles and increased apprenticeship routes. The key for the College now will be the `so what', but the publication of the plan is the first important step.”

Steve Jamieson, Chief Executive, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, said: “We are pleased the NHS Workforce Plan has been published. We look forward to the valuable contribution of allied health professionals, including speech and language therapists, being recognised and fully supported in the plan.”

Karin Orman, Director of Practice and Innovation at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, said: “This long-awaited plan has the potential to make a real-difference to people's lives - both to those working in the NHS, and the people accessing NHS services. We welcome investment in the occupational therapy workforce to help us adopt new roles and new ways of working in primary and community care. It's also good to see commitments to the often-overlooked rural and coastal communities, and investment in training and apprenticeships, which will hopefully help diversify the profession. However, it's vital that workforce planning also ensures a sustainable social care workforce in order to deliver integrated care. The government now needs to urgently prioritise putting these plans into action to support occupational therapists, and ultimately help people in England live well for longer.”

Fiona Ellwood BEM, Executive Director, Society of British Dental Nurses, said: “As the Exec Director of the Society of British Dental Nurses on behalf of the Council, our Advisors and members, we are delighted to hear of the investment into dentistry and the continued focus on skill-mix, as well as workforce retention. We look forward to see how dental nurses will feature in this longer term plan and hope their skills will be capitalised upon. We recognise that there is much to do and change will not happen over night, but we look forward to working closely with the OCDO to ensure dental nurses are at the table and their voices are heard and acted upon in open and transparent discussions. Dental Nurses are key members of the dental team and must not be left behind.”

Nicola Stockmann, Vice President, Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK said: “The NHS Long Term Workforce plan is a major milestone and an achievement for all who have campaigned and worked towards this. The delivery through key enablers identified in the plan and how it is subsequently followed up, will be essential for long-term and impactful benefits for patients, Pharmacy Technicians and the entire pharmacy workforce.”

Richard Evans OBE, Chief Executive, The Society and College of Radiographers, said: “The Society and College of Radiographers has for many years been calling for meaningful workforce planning for the NHS in England. For this reason alone, we welcome the publication of this plan. We will read it with interest and respond in more detail. As with any plan, the proof of its value will be in the commitment of the Westminster government to support and fund the implementation.”

Liz Stockley, CEO, British Dietetic Association, said: “We are excited at the prospect of increased support for the development of the dietitian workforce with increased funding for apprenticeships and advanced practice. We are particularly pleased at the inclusion of reducing the lag in the process for achieving independent prescribing and the commitment to supporting professional development in the workplace in line with the demand of our Trade Union. We are looking forward to seeing the detail - the numbers will be important, and critically, the government's response.”

Neil Carmichael, Executive Chair, Association of Dental Groups: “As our Integrated Care Systems seek to plan for the workforce across social care and health, the publication of the NHS Workforce Plan will give a welcome direction to priorities in health. We look forward to the continued partnership working across both care and health for the benefit of all of us and for the benefit of future generations. The fact that we now have a long term workforce plan for dentistry is a welcome recognition of the recruitment and retention challenges facing the profession. We believe we should act now over international recruitment and this plan paves the way for the parallel investment needed in our domestic schools and workforce for the future. The ADG welcomes that this process is underway.”

Paul Chadwick, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Royal College of Podiatry said: “The Royal College welcomes the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan and measures that support our workforce and recruitment into the profession. We look forward to reading the detail of the plan.”

Peter Iliff, Chair, British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, said: “BAPO recognises that the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan represents a major opportunity for our health and care systems. Publication will be seen as an achievement for everyone who has supported the process and BAPO applauds those stakeholders responsible for its delivery. BAPO will play an active part in supporting those measures which strength our workforce and enable members and colleagues to improve the care to those within our population, whose wellbeing and health rely on the skills and commitment of our prosthetists, orthotists, technicians and support workers.”

Maurice Cheng, Chief Executive, The Institute of Osteopathy, said: “The Institute of Osteopathy welcome the depth of planning that has gone into this very key document, at such a key moment in the need to develop a robust and sustainable NHS workforce into the future. We look forward to engaging fully in the critical implementation and follow through of this, and to appropriate resources and coordination being devoted to it.”

Craig Murray, Chair, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, said: “It is encouraging to see a commitment to retention, AHP Leadership and increasing education and training places; maximising the domestic training supply is crucial to the success of the plan, particularly in the smaller professions. The delivery of transformation and reform will depend, for example, on legislative change to enable independent prescribing rights for more professions such as orthoptics. This will empower our profession to further fulfil its considerable potential in delivering excellent patient care.”

Company: NHS England

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