Closing the gap Key areas for action on the health and care workforce

March 2019

Jake Beech
Simon Bottery
Harry Evans
Ben Gershlick
Nina Hemmings
Candace Imison
Pinchas Kahtan
Helen McKenna
Richard Murray
Billy Palmer
Thumbnail

Key points

  • Staffing is the make-or-break issue for the NHS in England. Workforce shortages are already having a direct impact on patient care and staff experience.
  • Urgent action is now required to avoid a vicious cycle of growing shortages and declining quality. The workforce implementation plan to be published later this year presents a pivotal opportunity to do this.
  • This report sets out a series of policy actions that, evidence suggests, should be at the heart of the workforce implementation plan.
  • They will require investment of an extra £900 million per year by 2023/24 into the budget of Health Education England.
  • Recognising the close interrelationship between the NHS and social care, the report also recommends a series of policy changes to improve recruitment and retention in social care.

Staffing is the make-or-break issue for the NHS in England. This report sets out a series of policy actions that should be at the heart of the workforce implementation plan.

The full report includes the following chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. Training: supply of new staff
  3. Pay and reward: ensuring pay policy supports recruitment and retention
  4. A good employer: making the NHS a better place to work and build a career
  5. Workforce redesign: the right teams with the right skills and technological support
  6. Supply of new staff: international recruitment
  7. Closing the gap: modelling the impact of reform and funding on nursing and GP shortages
  8. Social care: pay, recruitment and retention
  9. Next steps and conclusion
  10. Full table of recommendations

Cite this publication

Beech J, Bottery S, Charlesworth A, Evans H, Gershlick B, Hemmings N, Imison C, Kahtan P, McKenna H, Murray R, Palmer B, 'Closing the gap: key areas for action on the health and care workforce. Health Foundation; 2019

Discover

REAL Centre

Discover

The Health Foundation’s REAL Centre is here to support better long-term decision making in health...

REAL Centre

Further reading

Press release

Offer £5,200 grants to nursing students and ramp up overseas recruitment to stop NHS workforce crisis

21 March 2019
Press release

A radical expansion of nurse training, with cost of living grants of £5,200 a year and a tripling in...

Briefing

The health care workforce in England

November 2018
Briefing

This joint briefing highlights the scale of workforce challenges facing the health service and the...

You might also like...

Press release

NHS England statistics show hard work and dedication of NHS staff

Press release

Health Foundation response to the publication of NHS England's monthly performance statistics...

Press release

Growing concern about shortfall in social care workforce

Press release

Health Foundation response to the Skills for Care annual report, State of the adult social care...

Press release

Over a million more health and care staff needed in the next decade to meet growing demand for care

Press release

New report from the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre highlights huge scale of workforce shortfall.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Reductions in the public health grant have been greatest in the most deprived areas. In Blackpool, ranked as the m… https://t.co/8WZRe1qYTc

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more