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Academy statement: NHS England’s People Plan

The Academy welcomes today’s publication of the latest version of NHS England’s People Plan. It sets out an admirable vision for the way the workforce should be treated and valued in the years ahead. But, while it is high on aspiration it is lacking in detail. At the heart of the issues related to the morale and wellbeing of NHS staff, lies an unarguable fact – we simply do not have enough staff. Until this issue addressed head on, it is hard to see how all the issues that flow from a lack of this vital resource can be resolved.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Academy said,

‘Today’s People Plan includes an important commitment to valuing our NHS staff, but at a time when the healthcare system has seen this nation through an unprecedented crisis and when we are facing a very uncertain winter, the lack of detail about specific solutions is frustrating.

Following publication last year of the interim plan, which set out the issues clearly, but did not propose any meaningful solutions, there was great anticipation among staff that the plan would deliver a tangible action plan. Until the money is found to pay for the extra doctors, nurses and other vital staff the NHS desperately needs I am deeply concerned that the problems we all know exist will remain and patient care may well suffer as a result.  As a matter of urgency we will be seeking reassurance that at some point soon, this Government will be able to tell us how the aspirations laid out today will actually be paid for.’

30 July 2020