Joint statement urges Government to focus on four priorities whilst developing the new health and care workforce strategy for England

Posted 6 April 2018

Date: 06 Apr 2018

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

Following Health Education England’s consultation Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future: A draft health and care workforce strategy for England, leaders from eight Royal Colleges and Faculties have written a joint statement to urge the government and its partners to prioritise four key points whilst developing the new strategy.

They state:

'We welcome Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future: A draft health and care workforce strategy for England as a commitment to take a long term strategic approach to service, financial and workforce planning across all areas where health care professionals work. We agree with the broad direction of travel and the common-sense principles outlined.

While we have commented on different aspects of the consultation document, there are four points that we agree are of immediate concern. We urge the government and its partners to prioritise them as it develops the strategy. In so doing, a modern and sustainable workforce delivering the right care in the right place will be developed.

1. While we can and will act now, we need a single, robust source of supply and demand data to enable us to plan well for the long term. It must bring together data about the health needs of the population, how many people are in the health and care workforce system, how they move within it, and when and why they leave.

2. It is critical that the UK is able to employ the healthcare and research staff it needs to reduce the pressure and improve staff wellbeing and morale. The UK must be accessible and attractive to people from overseas.

3. We need national leadership and investment in public health initiatives. They are necessary to protect people from harms, help them lead healthier lives and reduce demand on the NHS. Health promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies which start in infancy, can reap benefits in adult life.

4. There must be further consultation on the first draft of a full strategy, or the government and its partners risk missing an excellent opportunity for consensus and co-production.'
Professor Jane Dacre, President, The Royal College of Physicians
Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones, President, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Professor Derek Alderson, President, The Royal College of Surgeons
Dr. Tajek B Hassan, President, The Royal College of Emergency Medicine
Dr Jane Dickson, Vice President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
Professor Lesley Regan, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Professor Russell Viner, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary, The Royal College of Nursing

Commenting on the specific priorities for the SRH workforce, Jane Dickson, FSRH Vice President, said:

'FSRH is very pleased to see the Government’s commitment to workforce planning, something that is long overdue and fundamental for the sustainability of the NHS. FSRH believes the sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) workforce is well-positioned to further the long-term aims of the health and social care system and it can help HEE meet its mandate. However, the SRH workforce can only achieve that if the right level of sustained investment is in place to fund trainee and consultant posts.

There needs to be further investment in specialist training provision because the current predicted output of the programme falls well-short of replacing the vacancies that will arise due to retirement, let alone address the fact that current consultant numbers relative to population numbers are inadequate.

Therefore, FSRH would welcome fully funded Specialty training and consultant posts to help ensure the system is effectively training, educating and investing in the workforce of the future. SRH leadership is essential to ensure that the design of services are rooted in prevention and health promotion and fit with the wider attempts to promote good health and tackle inequalities at the population level.'

FSRH has responded to Health Education England’s consultation, and you can read more about it here.

For more information please contact:

Morgan Evans
Communications Manager
External Affairs - Royal College of Physicians
Direct line 02030751468

Camila Azevedo
FSRH External Affairs & Standards Officer
Telephone: 02037945309