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Government acts on workforce crisis following MPs’ recommendations

21 April 2023

The Committee’s report, Workforce: recruitment, training, and retention in health and social care, called for reform of the NHS pension scheme to reduce the number of senior staff retiring early, contributing to a workforce crisis. Chair Steve Brine welcomed the decision of the Chancellor in the Spring Budget to reform tax arrangements, resulting the removal of financial penalties for staff who continued to work in the NHS.

Among recommendations that the Government has accepted:

  • the need for objective, transparent and independently audited reports on workforce projections giving details of future work.
  • it sets out further information about how the Long Term Workforce Plan is being undertaken, including the need to take flexible working into account.
  • agrees with the Committee's recommendation that it must intervene on maternity services with immediate action on recruitment and retention to relieve pressure from the system and ensure positive birthing experiences for everyone, regardless of their racial or socioeconomic background.
  • agrees in principle that improving diversity in the recruitment of midwives will lead to a better standard of care for black, Asian, mixed-race, and ethnic minority women.
  • agrees with the Committee’s recommendation that NHS England should develop and implement a national menopause strategy focused on the retention of senior staff who may be reducing their hours or leaving as a result of lack of support.

A separate report by the Committee’s Expert Panel assessing Government commitments on the health and social care workforce was published alongside it. The Panel’s evaluation rated overall government progress on key commitments on workforce as ‘inadequate’.

Please see the Government Response to the Committee’s Report and the Government Response to the Expert Panel’s Report attached.

Further information

Image: PA