3 June 2019
Commenting on the Interim NHS People Plan, Dr Taj Hassan, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “The Royal College of Emergency Medicine strongly supports the aims of this vital plan.
“Workforce planning at a local level will be essential for the Long Term Plan, but resources will be needed to enable this planning to be successful and sustainable.
“Our Emergency Departments continue to struggle in part due to inadequate levels of nursing staff, so the pledge to recruit 40,000 extra nurses by 2024 is very welcome.
“Growing our multidisciplinary clinical workforce is required for the future of the NHS and developing new credentials will help staff develop their careers and widen their skills.
“A commitment to improving the working environment of the NHS is also very welcome. This must be an ongoing process if we are to attract staff and, crucially, retain them, especially our older workforce.
“We are therefore pleased to see initial steps being taken to address pensions arrangements but would urge for a more definitive solution in order to prevent losing further experienced staff who are unable to work extra hours covering rota gaps due to punitive tax charges.
“We have also worked hard to develop strategies that will better support doctors in training and reduce attrition through a dedicated leadership programme, unique to Emergency Medicine, that we are beginning to roll out.
“Our staff are undoubtedly our most valuable resource, and to get the best out of them we must improve our culture. This plan is a huge step in the right direction to doing just that.”