The King’s Fund comments on Facing the facts, shaping the future: a draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027

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Responding to the publication of Health Education England’s draft workforce strategy, Alex Baylis, Assistant Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said: ‘The difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff is a huge challenge across the NHS, currently epitomised by a growing shortage of nurses and declining numbers of GPs. This is the result of a history of poor workforce planning and policies. To avoid history repeating itself, a complete overhaul of the system for planning future workforce needs is required. This makes the new workforce strategy a crucial document that is long overdue.
‘We welcome the fact that workforce problems are at last being grasped, and are to be addressed jointly by all the NHS national bodies rather than just Health Education England. The draft strategy identifies many of the key issues, but it will require significant further thought and development, and we look forward to this happening over the consultation process. With this in mind, it is also good that this document marks the start of a discussion that will give voices across the health system the chance to shape the final strategy.’

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.