FSRH statement: FSRH welcomes Interim NHS People Plan and call on NHSE and NHS Improvement to address SRH workforce challenges in five-year People Plan

Posted 3 June 2019

Date: 03 Jun 2019

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

Today NHS England and NHS Improvement have published the Interim NHS People Plan, a vision to enable the NHS workforce to deliver the NHS Long-Term Plan.

The Interim Plan lays the foundation for a full five-year plan to be published after the Government’s Spending Review, and it includes actions for 2019/20 and to inform the development of the future five-year plan. The review is being led by Baroness Dido Harding, Chair of NHS Improvement.

Dr Jane Dickson, Vice President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), Strategy, said:

“The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare welcomes the Interim NHS People Plan and its focus on promoting flexible careers and a greater multidisciplinary workforce.

“We are pleased to see that the Interim Plan recognises the need to expand the workforce and agree that this can be achieved through a combination of increasing the numbers joining the workforce as well as improving retention. Tackling the nurse shortage is a particularly urgent issue.

“It is crucial that the challenges facing the Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare workforce working in the community and primary care are addressed in the upcoming Five-Year People Plan. The Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare consultant workforce is in a succession crisis, and it is estimated that one third of the current consultant workforce could retire within the next five years, whilst many posts are left vacant. Specialty training numbers are small and unlikely to provide the service required for the future.

“In addition, a small number of consultant posts unevenly spread across England leaves whole areas without any leadership to oversee the delivery of sexual and reproductive healthcare. The Interim Plan’s commitment to establish a national programme board to address geographic and specialty shortages in doctors is therefore a positive step to tackle regional variation.

“In line with the NHS Long-Term Plan’s ambition to bring care closer to the community, we also call on NHS England and NHS Improvement to consider the important role that the Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare workforce can play in expanded community multidisciplinary teams in new Primary Care Networks.

“Finally, we fully support the development of an action plan to ensure more comprehensive and timely workforce data. There can be no effective workforce planning without quality data."


Notes to editors:

  • The Interim NHS People Plan can be found here.
  • The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care. It works with its 15,000 members, to shape sexual reproductive health for all. It produces evidence-based clinical guidance, standards, training, qualifications and research into SRH. It also delivers conferences and publishes the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.

For further information please contact:
Camila Azevedo
FSRH External Affairs & Standards Manager
Email: externalaffairsmanager@fsrh.org
Telephone: 02037945309