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Royal Colleges and Faculty statement on workforce strategy for England

News 6 April 2018

Following Health Education England’s consultation on Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future: A draft health and care workforce strategy for England, leaders from eight Royal Colleges and Faculties have written a joint statement to urge the government and its partners to prioritise four key points whilst developing the new strategy.

They state:

‘We welcome Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future: A draft health and care workforce strategy for England as a commitment to take a long term strategic approach to service, financial and workforce planning across all areas where health care professionals work. We agree with the broad direction of travel and the common sense principles outlined.

While we have commented on different aspects of the consultation document, there are four points that we agree are of immediate concern. We urge the government and its partners to prioritise them as it develops the strategy. In so doing,  a modern and sustainable workforce delivering the right care in the right place will  be developed.

1.      While we can and will act now, we need a single, robust source of supply and demand data to enable us to plan well for the long term. It must bring together data about the health needs of the population, how many people are in the health and care workforce system, how they move within it, and when and why they leave.

2.       It is critical that the UK is able to employ the healthcare and research staff it needs to reduce the pressure, and improve staff wellbeing and morale. The UK must be accessible and attractive to people from overseas.

3.       We need national leadership and investment in public health initiatives. They are necessary to protect people from harms, help them lead healthier lives and reduce demand on the NHS. Health promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies which start in infancy, can reap benefits in adult life.

4.       There must be further consultation on the first draft of a full strategy, or the government and its partners risk missing an excellent opportunity for consensus and co-production.’

Professor Jane Dacre, President, The Royal College of Physicians

Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones, President, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Professor Derek Alderson, President, The Royal College of Surgeons

Dr. Tajek B Hassan, President, The Royal College of Emergency Medicine

Dr Jane Dickson, Vice President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare

Professor Lesley Regan, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Professor Russell Viner, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary, The Royal College of Nursing


For more information please contact Morgan Evans, Communications Manager, at Royal College of Physicians London on 0203 075 1468.

 For RCOG media enquiries, please contact the press office on +44 (0)20 7045 6773 or email