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Tim Horrocks
July 19, 2023

NHS launches biggest recruitment drive in a generation

The NHS has launched a major new initiative to retain and recruit thousands of staff so it can meet the changing care needs of an ageing population.

The Long Term Workforce Plan will see £2.4 billion invested in education and training as well as existing recruitment measures.

NHS staffing shortfall currently stands at around 112,00 and is projected to rise to 360,000 unless action is taken.

Some of the specific aims of the plan are to:  

  • Increase medical school training places from 7,500 to 15,000 by 2031, with particular focus on training in areas with greatest need.
  • Increase GP training places by 50% to 6,000 by 2031.
  • Add 24,000 more nurse and midwife training places by 2031.  

The plan will reduce spending on agency staff, which is significantly more expensive than recruiting full-time staff members and can result in a poorer quality of care that ultimately costs the NHS more when health problems persist.

Boosting staff retention is one way the NHS will reduce agency spending, which the plan will deliver by increasing flexibility and skill/career development opportunities in line with the changing needs and aspirations of their team members.  

Also addressed is AI technology and how it might be used to improve treatment and make working for the NHS easier. Ironically, this could mean more work for planners – the speed at which technology develops means that plans will have to be reviewed every two years.  

NHS Chief Executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: “This plan will ensure there is an NHS career choice that works for everyone now and in the future, so if you are interested in working for the NHS, or have loved ones who might be, please do find out more – it is a decision I have never regretted.

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