New report calls for reforms to devolve decisions about training, pay and working conditions
Faced with heavy reliance on agency workers and overseas recruitment, the NHS is at a critical crossroads when it comes to its workforce. As the government and NHS leaders have repeatedly said, the priority for the health service is to increase the speed of its innovation. But in contrast to the devolution of its decision making powers to the UK’s 44 sustainability and transformation plan (STP) regions, the Department of Health’s approach to its workforce remains highly centralised and tightly regulated.
In a new report, the thinktank Reform has found this approach has not delivered the workforce needed to suit the demands of an ageing population. There are nearly three times more doctors, and four times more nurses in the acute sector than in the community. On average, just 6% of consultants work in the community for one or more sessions per week.
A truly devolved health reform policy would see STPs take over the work and budget of Health Education England
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