A plan for nursing
As the NHS grapples to fill its 41 000 nurse vacancies, everyone is awaiting the ‘Full People Plan’, which is expected to be published at the end of this year. The Council of Deans of Health, which represents the 84 universities delivering education and research for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions, is one of many stakeholder organisations participating in the development of this plan.
June's Interim NHS People Plan (NHS England et al, 2019) set out a framework for tackling workforce challenges. Nursing is the top priority for groups working on the full plan.
The framework for workforce growth set out in the Interim NHS People Plan is helpful. It will be necessary to look at every avenue to grow the workforce, including international recruitment, retention and return to practice. The Council has welcomed the £150 million funding increase for continuing professional development recently announced as part of the 2019 spending round. After several years of dramatic funding cuts, this investment is vital to support retention and skills development.
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