A flagship authorities plan to sort out NHS workers shortages has been shelved amid authorities ‘uncertainty’ and a row over funding with the Treasury.
Senior NHS sources have mentioned the 15 12 months workforce technique, introduced by Sajid Javid, and slated for publication this October is now unlikely to be finalised or revealed earlier than Christmas.
Concern amongst senior NHS figures is that the brand new well being secretary, Therese Coffey and the Treasury are reluctant to contemplate methods of paying to retain or recruit workers.
Healthcare leaders have raised considerations over the delay, warning it’s going to “compound” the already extreme staffing shortages and name for Ms Coffey to incorporate workforce bulletins inside her speech tomorrow.
NHS Employers chief govt Danny Mortimer mentioned: “One of the single most important actions the health secretary can announce this week is the immediate investment in a national minimum wage for care workers which will help maintain desperately needed capacity in social care.”
It comes as medica royal school leaders launched a report on Wednesday warning failure to spend money on workforce planning has led to the NHS’ present disaster.
It mentioned: “Open discussion and a full debate about the state of the NHS and social care are currently being avoided.”
One supply mentioned the treasury is a “massive hurdle” however that the previous well being secretary Mr Javid was “up for a fight”.
Another senior NHS supply mentioned: “We’ve not had a functioning Department for Health and Social Care system to even get things off the ground. We don’t know what the new priorities are for the government. [But] we are hearing they may change track…a view we have enough money so get on.”
They added “we need to have an honest conversation about affordability or some sense of “what can the NHS do” with the sources it has. Either isn’t a spot the place politicians need to be.”
“HMT now say we have the money. If [the plan] is out before Christmas I’ll eat Santa’s hat.”
A 3rd supply mentioned: “I imagine that there are some things that are just going to go by the wayside of a new government, the workforce [plan] being delayed is whether they want to sign up to long term workforce planning overall.”
The information comes as Ms Coffey is ready to make bulletins on Thursday over an “emergency” NHS plan. On Saturday The Independent revealed the DHSC was in discussions with Number 10 over signing off new A&E targets.
Concerns over delays to the workforce plan embrace that NHS will miss key factors in docs’ and nurses’ tutorial cycle. Under present coaching schedules for clinicians planning for 2024 consumption might want to occur in early 2023.
Miriam Deakin, interim chief govt for NHS Providers warned: “A delay in producing a workforce plan will only compound existing severe staff shortages and lead to more ‘burnout’ as the NHS works flat out to reduce care backlogs. Trusts need the government to commit to tackling this serious problem.”
She mentioned: “Support from the secretary of state to develop a long-term workforce plan for the NHS is vital. With more than 132,000 vacant NHS jobs, the need to plan further ahead to train, recruit and retain staff in the right numbers is critical.
That is why we have called consistently for a national, fully costed and fully funded workforce plan. Trust leaders are doing everything they can to recruit and retain staff in a challenging context and as the cost of living rises.”
Mr Mortimer, chief govt of NHS Employers, a part of the NHS Confederation mentioned: “NHS leaders have welcomed the engagement led by NHS England and Health Education England in the development of a comprehensive workforce plan.
“However, they will be concerned to hear that the government has extended its deadline for this vital work. The government must act now to invest in the health and social care workforce. We know where the risks lie and there are steps the government can take now to support training pipelines for increasing staff numbers in community services and mental health and learning disability services in healthcare as a starting point.
In 2021 former health secretary Sajid Javid announced the NHS and education authority Health Education England would create a 15-year strategy for the health and care workforce.
The 15-year plan has been developed in two parts, one was set to be published over the summer and the second published by autumn.
A leaked copy of part one, created by Health Education England, the DHSC and social care body Skills for Health, seen by The Independent said: “Historic supply trends and our analysis of key driver of change suggest that we will need to continue to grow the workforce – it is a matter for the government by how much, balanced against competing calls on the public purse.
The document warns investment in NHS workforce budgets has not kept up with increases in spending on services.
According to the document 16 per cent of the NHS’ workforce is made up of international recruitment.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are boosting NHS recruitment with almost 4,100 more doctors and over 9,600 more nurses working across the NHS compared to last year, and we are on track to meet our manifesto commitment to recruit 50,000 nurses by 2024.
“We have also commissioned NHS England to develop a long term workforce plan to recruit and retain more NHS staff. We have launched a taskforce to drive up the recruitment of international staff into critical roles across the system this winter.”