Staffing matters; funding counts examines the profile and features of the NHS workforce in Englan...
- In April 2017, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS concluded that the biggest internal threat to the sustainability of the NHS is the lack of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the NHS and care system the workforce it needs.
- This briefing, and its two supplements, examines two of the most important issues in workforce policy today which pose both immediate and long-term risks to the ability of the NHS to sustain high quality care: staffing numbers and standards and the future of NHS pay policy.
- It highlights that the lack of a coherent workforce strategy which is integrated with funding plans and service delivery models is one of the Achilles heels of the NHS.
- Workforce pressure points overview
- Pressure point: Nurse staffing: can the new guidelines make a difference?
- Pressure point: NHS pay: time to end the freeze?
- Nursing staff numbers are insufficient – and this shortfall is likely to be exacerbated by poor workforce planning.
- Given the pressure on numbers, ensuring that nurses are deployed effectively to support safe and efficient delivery of care is vital.
- Most NHS staff will have had a pay cut since 2010/11 and current public sector pay policy implies they will face further pay cuts in the coming years.
- The NHS needs a pay policy that will enable it to recruit, retain and engage the workforce it needs to succeed.
- Agenda for Change staff at Band 5 and above – which represents 625,000 people and includes all nurses - will face a 12% pay cut between 2010/11 and 2020/21, after accounting for inflation.
- Workforce planning is essential to ensuring productivity and requires a clear and coordinated workforce strategy.
- Piecemeal policy making, however well-intentioned any individual initiative might be, is not serving the NHS well.