Royal College of Emergency Medicine Menu Menu

‘There are no shortcuts to delivering quality’ – RCEM responds to new NHS workforce plan

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has welcomed the announcement of a 15-year long-term NHS workforce plan by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care.

The plan, which is due to be published tomorrow (30 June 2023), will focus on three key areas – training, retention and reform – and is the first of its kind.

Announced by NHS England, it is supported and funded by the government which has pledged £2.4 billion over the next five years to open additional education and training places.

This initial investment will be used by NHSE to work towards:

  • doubling medical school training places to 15,000 by 2031, with more places in areas with the greatest shortages
  • increasing the number of GP training places by 50% to 6,000 by 2031
  • nearly doubling the number of adult nurse training places by 2031, with 24,000 more nurse and midwife training places per year by 2031.

RCEM President, Dr Adrian Boyle, who earlier this week took part in the Prime Minister’s NHS workforce roundtable at Downing Street, said: “We welcome this commitment to setting out a long-term strategic plan for the health service in England.

“This is the first of its kind and we hope that this will be the sustainable footing on which an adequately staffed and resourced NHS can be built.
“The longevity of this plan recognises that the improvements needed will take time – there are no shortcuts to delivering quality.
“We hope this will receive cross-party support and the commitment to long-term NHS workforce planning will be both universally supported and sustained by each future government.
“Our members will be pleased to see the commitment to providing more training places and the importance of retaining staff by creating a better culture in the NHS.
“We now look forward to understanding the numbers, timelines and money behind the strategy, and working to support the training and development of staff working in Emergency Medicine, so we can look after our patients better.”

RCEM’s report Emergency Medicine Workforce in England found that at least 120 Emergency Medicine training places are needed each year for six years to avert a serious staffing crisis in A&Es.

Last week, The College hosted a roundtable with health leaders from NHS England, National Voices, King’s Fund and Reform to discuss the Emergency Medicine workforce and what is needed to combat a potential staffing crisis.

Notes to Editor

*The plan itself is due to be published tomorrow, Friday 30 June 2023. RCEM will respond further once it has analysed the detail.

Back to top Back to top