The Nursing Workforce

House of Commons Select Committee, January 2018

This report argues that too little attention has been given to retaining nurses in the NHS, which has resulted in more nurses now leaving than joining the professional register. It identifies various factors for the cause of the shortfall of nurses in the NHS including workload pressures, poor access to continuing professional development, pay and a general sense of being undervalued.

Click here to view the report.

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Retaining your clinical staff: a practical improvement resource

NHS Improvement, December 2017

This improvement resource outlines key steps to improving retention of clinical staff. It has distilled our advice from interviews with trust HR directors, directors of nursing and medical directors.  It recognises that no one action will boost retention on its own – sustained action in several areas is needed. It also acknowledges that external factors like private sector wage growth, the strength of the pound and the increasing demands of a clinical role in the NHS all make it difficult to retain staff.  Despite this there are factors in trusts’ control and trusts are exploiting these in their efforts to improve retention. These factors are covered in this resource.

Click here to view the resource.

Horizon scanning future health and care demand for workforce skills in England, UK: Noncommunicable disease and future skills implications

World Health Organization, December 2017

World Health Organization Horizon Scan of good practice on workforce planning in in the UK that finds:

  • Investigation of skills mix and future demand for the whole system can reveal new ways of thinking and planning.
  • Small annual changes in demand can add up to larger changes over time requiring major shifts in the skills and competencies of the health workforce.
  • It is important to understand the context of the system to be investigated, ensuring that the appropriate scope, level of enquiry and methods are selected.
  • It pays off to experiment with a range of techniques and approaches to accommodate variation in systems.
  • Ensure that stakeholders are involved at every stage of the workforce review, including modelling and validation of variables.

The Centre for Workforce Intelligence, mapped out necessary skills and competencies for the health and care workforce, investigated roles and responsibilities for different health and care workers, and outlined 6 scenarios for change in future demand.

Click here to view the briefing.

The future of the mental health workforce

Centre for Mental Health, November 2017

This report presents the key findings from a review of:

  • The current workforce in specialist, NHS funded mental health services in England;
  • Current policy and its impact on the future workforce;
  • The views of people who work in and use mental health services, obtained through a series of consultation events and roundtable meetings held across the country in early 2017

Click here to read the full report.

Royal College of Psychiatrists workforce census

Royal College of Psychiatrists, November 2017

The latest Royal College of Psychiatrists workforce census of psychiatric staffing was run between April and September 2017 and provides a detailed analysis of the consultant and specialty doctor workforce in psychiatry across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The report find that:

  • Levels of growth in filled consultant posts are largely static.
  • There is an ongoing rise in the reported number of vacant or unfilled consultant posts across the UK, up from 5% (2013), 7% (2015) to 9% (2017).
  • Vacancies in consultant posts are most acute in General, CAMHS, Old Age and Intellectual (Learning) Disability psychiatry.
  • There has been a sharp increase in the use of locum specialty doctors, a reflection of the ongoing recruitment difficulties at that grade.
  • A wide variation in the gender balance across different psychiatric specialities.

Click here to view the full report.

Click here to view the summary report.

Unheeded warnings: health care in crisis: the UK nursing labour market review 2016

Royal College of Nursing, October 2016

This research highlights risks to the future nursing supply in England as it finds that half of nurses are aged 45 or over and are within ten years of being eligible for early retirement. In comparison, a decade ago just a third of the nursing workforce was aged 45 or over. The report calls on the government to scrap the pay cap for NHS staff to help to alleviate the retention crisis.

Click here to view the report.