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Government progress against commitments made on workforce to be evaluated

20 April 2022

The Health and Social Care Committee examines the Government’s progress against its pledges on the health and social care workforce and will be the focus of a new independent evaluation by the Health and Social Care Committee’s Expert Panel.

Professor Dame Jane Dacre, Chair of the Expert Panel, said:

“We’ll be looking at commitments the Government has made on workforce – the people who deliver the health and social care services we rely on.

“We’ve identified a recurrent theme in our evaluations to date – whether in maternity, cancer or mental health services, progress is dependent on having the right number of skilled staff in the right place at the right time. Shortages have a real impact on the delivery of services and undermine achievements.

“Our panel of experts will evaluate progress made to meet policy pledges in this crucial area - whether it’s about getting workforce planning right, training, or ensuring staff well-being.”

The Expert Panel will focus on three areas:

  • Planning for the workforce – including how targets are set, recruitment, and retention.
  • Building a skilled workforce – including incorporating technology and professional development of staff.
  • Wellbeing at work – including support services for staff, and reducing bullying rates.

Four specialists have been appointed for this evaluation, bringing their subject specific expertise and experience. They will work alongside the core members of the Expert Panel in identifying a set of Government commitments on workforce and evaluate progress made against them.

The findings will support the work of the Health and Social Care Committee which is carrying out a separate inquiry: Workforce: recruitment, training and retention in health and social care.

Expert Panel Chair

  • Professor Dame Jane Dacre, Professor of Medical Education at University College London, a consultant physician and rheumatologist, and a former President of the Royal College of Physicians. 

Core members

  • Professor John Appleby;
  • Professor Anita Charlesworth;
  • Sir Robert Francis QC;
  • Professor Stephen Peckham.

Additional members appointed with subject area expertise:

Professor Alison Leary, Chair of Healthcare & Workforce Modelling, London Southbank University.

I am delighted to serve on this panel, the workforce is pivotal to providing safe and effective health and social care. I very much hope to contribute insight drawn from both the research literature and also the insights gained from working in workforce modelling across different sectors

Professor Carol Atkinson, Faculty Head Research and Knowledge Exchange, Manchester Metropolitan University.

I joined the Panel to contribute to informing policy that will support the health and social care workforce in doing its exceptionally important job. I hope the Panel will be able to influence policy to create positive change for the health and social care workforce and so improve care quality.

Professor Shereen Hussein, Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The health and social care workforce skills, training and wellbeing are critical to delivering high quality health and care services. Ensuring equitable and fair working conditions and career opportunities is essential to attract, retain and grow high quality staff necessary to meet the population needs. Effectively work with the committee to highlight key areas where improvements were made and identify gaps where progress can be made.

Professor Jill Manthorpe, Professor of Social Work, Kings College London.

Health and social care matters to us all so I value the opportunity to work with Committee members to offer my advice and experience to the posing of their questions and reflections on what they are told. I have worked on health and social care subjects for several years but like most people they matter to me and my family at personal levels. I really welcome talking about health and care together since they are so closely linked for us all. Central to these services is a focus on wellbeing and I hope that we will have the time to talk about this – and how Committees such as this one can support those with huge commitments to national and global wellbeing. Working with people who have many different insights will be a great learning opportunity for us all.

Further information

Image credit: PA