BOA response to publication of NHS Long Term Workforce Plan

The publication today of the Government’s NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is welcome.  The BOA is pleased the Government appreciates that training the future generations of the NHS workforce is a priority.  The BOA has long advocated for this. 

Absence of a funded, long-term, NHS workforce plan has exacerbated the long-standing staffing shortages and lack of capacity in the NHS that has led to the historic waiting times for elective surgery.   Funding for the first five years is a start, but falls short of the commitment required.

With 808,000 people on the trauma and orthopaedic waiting list in England alone, action is required now and not just in 5, 10 and 15 years.  In the devolved nations, the problem is proportionately higher.

There must be continued focus on appropriately staffed, surgical hubs for elective surgery and ring-fenced beds to secure our capacity to care for our patients.  Elective surgery is not optional surgery.  Replacing an arthritic joint not only reduces pain and suffering, it gives people their life and their livelihood back.

If maximum benefit for patients is to be obtained from not just more staff, but the proposed novel healthcare roles, the use of innovative technology and different models of service delivery, then the retention of experienced consultants, specialty and associate specialists and other senior staff is essential.  We must also retain and encourage our trainees to practice their skills within the United Kingdom.

You can read the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan here.