Workforce planning in the NHS

The NHS workforce is the primary driver of future health costs. Given the substantial changes in population demographics and health care needs, the workforce needs to be fit for purpose. That means responding to immediate needs and financial pressures while adapting to deliver the future care models outlined in the NHS five year forward view. Getting the right balance requires a robust understanding of the nature of workforce pressures locally and nationally and what can be done to address them in the short and the long term.
Workforce planning in the NHS

Print copy: £10.00 | Buy

No. of pages: 44

ISBN: 978 1 909029 49 1

Using national statistics, key publications and insights gained from interviews with expert stakeholders, this paper describes what is happening in the NHS workforce now in three key areas: mental health, general practice and community nursing. This analysis is presented alongside data that highlights providers’ reliance on agency staff. It looks at how workforce issues have been addressed across the system so far, explores the main challenges, and makes recommendations to improve workforce planning.

Key findings

There are major disconnects between strategic goals and workforce trends.

  • The greater strategic priority given to mental health has not translated into staff numbers on the ground.
  • The rate of increase in the number of GPs has been dramatically outstripped by increases in the medical workforce in secondary care – a trend at odds with the ambition to deliver more care in the community. 
  • Despite long-standing ambitions to raise the level and range of community services provided, it is difficult to see any increases among key staff groups. Any such increases have been limited to areas with specific national targets.
  • The information needed to guide workforce planning locally and nationally has not kept pace with the growing plurality of providers delivering NHS-commissioned services. There are large data gaps on primary and community care, use of agency and bank staff, vacancy rates, and independent and voluntary sector providers.

Policy implications

Recent reforms have put Health Education England firmly in control of training the workforce of the future. But there needs to be a more joined-up approach to workforce planning today, with a national strategy that covers all NHS-commissioned services. This will avoid the current piecemeal approach to addressing workforce pressures.

Building a national workforce strategy will require changes at national level to support providers as they develop strategies locally and across health systems, whether in relation to return-to-practice campaigns, international recruitment, making key professional careers more attractive to trainees, or other measures.

Ensuring greater consistency between national strategy and the available workforce will also involve tackling questions of affordability. With pay overwhelmingly the biggest element of NHS costs, it is not credible for the recent trend of low real-terms growth to sustain any rapid increase in the NHS workforce.

These considerations are vital in order for providers and the wider NHS to develop a workforce that is adaptable and able to deliver the new care models outlined in the NHS five year forward view.

Keep up to date

Subscribe to our email newsletters and follow @TheKingsFund on Twitter to see our latest news and content.


#543579 Nanci
QCC Nursing

So much is said that the problem is cost of agency nursing yet most hospitals are only now making their staff work bank holidays and weekends and agency weekday which is much less cost
the truth is that agency nurses will always be needed so why not give the hospital managers no room to come up with silly reasons why their staff are not covering the costly shifts Also instead of a very expensive quango that does nil all put that money into hospital budgets
Money is paid to GPs with no questions asked even if the GP is not a good GP or to those who seem to always be taking yet another holiday!
Maybe what is needed is a complete rethink of how the master plan will work going forward 10 years We know the top managers will say there is a plan and GPs who moan will say "not enough money" yet where else can you make a great salary even when you are a new GP?
The NHS is a wonderful organisation but is neither a business nor a charity

#543582 Mark Purvis

A major cause of the unequal growth between sectors is the model of funding. Whilst primary care is paid on a population basis for a year of care no matter how many times an individual attends, secondary care is paid for activity. This sets up "supply driven" care where there is increased health activity but not necessarily improved health outcomes for populations. The current system allows for secondary care workforce growth but constrains primary care workforce growth. As needs and demands increase in primary care an underfunded and under supplied workforce is struggling to keep pace. Meanwhile, those with little or no experience of the sector shout from the sidelines that primary care must "work differently". Thanks for that, very helpful, but we already know. It's like shouting "swim harder" at the drowning man.

#548482 lzm prada bags sac longchamp ray ban sunglasses balenciaga bag abercrombie and fitch burberry trx workouts canada Jordan Retro Shoes trx suspension louboutin shoes sheepskin boots shoes online sale michael kors jet set tote Ralph Lauren Polo canada goose outlet coach purses michael kors outlet Michael Kors Outlet salomon shoes landing gears TRX Training workouts balenciaga bags burberry outlet pandora charms coach bags nike australia TRX training exercises longchamp backpack pandora rings burberry outlet pandora jewelry kate spade landing gear mens sunglasses michael kors outlet moncler outlet pandora uk longchamp sale polo outlet coach outlet online coach bag polo online abercrombie outlet nike id michael kors factory outlet abercrombie us nike free run official michael kors michael kors outlet online coach purse Mizuno Wave michael kors uk ray ban prescription glasses coach outlet nike shoes christian louboutin online Nike Kobe 9 burberry outlet canada TRX Workouts sunglasses hut nike store pandora uk TRX Suspension Straps Coach Sunglasses Outlet Yeezy 350 Michael Kors Watches Outlet china factory sale coach australia nike store burberry outlet online prada outlet Coach outlet online michael kors outlet Abercrombie Fitch coach factory outlet nike outlet pandora charms michael kors tote oakley sunglasses Polo Ralph Lauren prada handbags prada bag coach diaper bag yeezy shoes ray ban clubmaster 2016 trx TRX Training Straps Billat ralph lauren uk Nike Air Jordan canada goose jacket burberry outlet ray ban glasses prada glasses ray-ban sunglasses michael kors outlet pandora jewelry coach australia Michael Kors Canada michael kors outlet ugg boots uk prada outlet online jimmy choo australia burberry canada Mizuno Shop Japan coach outlet online pandora princess ring trx band workouts pandora necklaces ray-ban sunglasses ugg boots outlet coach online trx for sale coach outlet coach factory outlet cheap ray ban sunglasses Kobe 9 Shoes asics Australia michael kors burberry outlet tiffany co oakley sunglasses michael kors totes Mizuno Running Shoes RX Resistance Bands polo outlet online michael kors outlet prada bags burberry scarf sunglasses outlet TRX training workouts pandora rings abercrombie & fitch michael kors australia michael kors TRX Straps ugg slippers Nike Lebron Shoes chanel trx suspension training pandora jewelry coach sunglasses for women Nike KD 8 uggs outlet yeezy boost 350 shoes abercrombie outlet prada outlet online pandora charms uk suspension training ugg boots sale michael kors prada handbags michael kors handbags outlet true religion uk coach outlet michael kors canada pandora charms sale Jordan retro sheepskin boots for women balenciaga us sheepskin boots on sale Nike Hyperdunk Shoes ralph lauren uk chanel tote bag Ralph Lauren prada outlet clk benz moncler coats trx training exercises MCM Outlet Hugo Boss Outlet nike outlet michael kors christian louboutin shoes Hugo Boss Online ugg boots TRX Bands hermes purses ugg boots uk hermes uk nike basketball shoes nike jordan shoes hermes bag rayban aviator abercrombie outlet us kate spade outlet kate spade outlet online Polo Ralph Lauren nike shox coach outlet burberry scarf coach outlet online pandora rings beats studio michael kors handbags michael kors outlet Whitton Lodge Chesterfield Derbyshire UK pandora australia michael kors outlet ugg australia burberry outlet canada burberry scarfs pandora rings sale burberry scarf Ralph Lauren UK louboutin shoes kate spade outlet online prada tote prada bags asics gel kayano Oakley Holbrook sunglasses nike shoes australia ray ban polarized burberry outlet michael kors outlet coach bags true religion burberry online Burberry online pandora rings Nike Lebron 12 Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 trx exercises abercrombie outlet burberry outlet michael kors australia prada online brand sunglasses Mizuno Shoes prada handbags burberry outlets shoes online veronique billat michael kors outlet coach factory outlet pandora bracelets ralph lauren Ralph Lauren Polo Pandora bracelet ray ban wayfarer change points uk oakley frogskins sunglasses Hyperdunk 2016 coach outlet Canada Goose Outlet coach outlet coach online michael kors italy trx straps coach usa coach outlet ugg australia burberry outlet jordan retro shoes abercrombie fitch ray ban eyeglasses moncler clothing mk bags canada goose sale Chanel Outlet china wholesale chanel tote ugg boots kate spade outlet coach outlet,coach factory coach handbags nike com bercrombie Nederland exercises for trx Chanel bags Outlet Kate Spade Australia pandora charms burberry australia R.B Sunglasses longchamp outlet Free Run michael kors outlet coach carter pandora australia pirate system Suspension Training TRX ralph lauren nike shox shoes michael kors outlet beats by dre Coach Outlet Store prada purses trx ralph lauren australia trx suspension pandora necklace true religion jeans jordan shoes trx ab workouts pandora uk Nike Jordans ray ban online michael kors us coach outlet Nike Hyperdunk 2015 Burberry Outlet longchamp sac pandora australia abercrombie outlet moncler outlet canada goose sale online landinggear official prada site MIZUNO Shop US Prada Factory Outlet TRX Training beats headphones top sunglasses coach factory air jordan shoes pandora ring Coach Outlet Online ugg slippers prada tote bag Longchamp Bags trx for sale nike jordan shoes michael kors outlet nike outlet Michael Kors Watches prada outlet Jordan Retro pandora rings abercrombie outlet Oakley Holbrook yeezy boost 350 michael kors purses on sale Kobe X Shoes trx canada burberry canada Coach Outlet lebron james shoes nike jordan michael kors tote bags ugg uk Michael Kors Outlet cheap basketball shoes moncler jacket moncler us pandora australia burberry outlet burberry australia ralph lauren shirts true religion uk nike shoes coach outlet online CHanel Factory Outlet burberry outlet longchamp outlet nike lebron james coach kate spade outlet michael kors outlet pandora bracelet coach handbags cheap trx straps adidas yeezy boost 350 asics gel pandora necklace charms flash sunglasses trx for sale coach outlet online michael kors outlet longchamp backpack kate spade UK michael kors outlet michael kors outlet Mizuno Shop KD 8 shoes TRX Workouts yeezy boost 350 coach factory outlet burberry online coach australia pandora charms hermes uk cheap moncler jacket Official Ralph Lauren UK Online Store Lebron 13 nike australia mk outlet michael kors outlet Prada Outlet louboutin heels mk handbags michael kors outlet Nike Free burberry outlet nike shoes Burberry Factory Outlet official prada site nike shoes michael kors black friday abercrombie paris hermes birkin price prada us Cheap Ray Ban major league baseball michael kors online coach outlet online prada bags oakley australia trx workouts abercrombie us burberry us air jordan retro asics kayano coach outlet store pandora bracelet asics shoes Burberry outlet online hermes birkin shoes sale michael kors michael kors purses outlet moncler outlet Longchamp Outlet trx suspension trainer suspension trainer trx snow boots burberry outlet online TRX suspension workouts yeezy shoes adidas coach outlet Michael Kors Watches Online ugg boots wholesale Kevin Durant Shoes michael kors outlet store coach shoes oakley sunglasses coach outlet ugg uk michael kors handbags chanel australia cheap trx mlb shop longchamp bag michael kors outlet online Chanel Tote Bag 2015 pandora rings jewelry pandora bracelet oakley frogskins burberry purse véronique Billat nike jordan shoes oakley outlet burberry online Oakley Outlet Ray Ban Outlet cheap coach purse kate spade Basketball shoes ray-ban sunglasses burberry outlet online prada outlet online michael kors outlet Yeezy Boost 350 Hugo Boss Store salomon hiking shoes piumini moncler replica sunglasses sm abercrombie and fitch abercrombie and fitch coach sunglasses Pandora Charm longchamps prada sunglasses Nike Air Jordan air jordan shoes TRX Exercises michael kors purses asics shoes Australia ray ban aviator TRX Training Bands Prada Shopper Tote kate spade outlet Hermes Outlet air yeezy shoes moncler down jackets ray ban sunglasses prada official site chanel bag B Derbyshire Nike Jordan Shoes pandora rings ray ban prescription sunglasses Nike Air Max michael kors outlet ray ban new wayfarer michael kors outlet nike lebron shoes nike air max michael kors outlet Bed and Breakfast in chesterfield sunglasses hut prada bags on sale trx workouts TRX Workout michael kors outlet abssice 360 canada goose jacket moncler jacket coach factory outlet online burberry tiffany co

Add new comment