Public Health England / Health Education England have published the draft Workforce Strategy, Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, to inform the final Strategy that will be published in July 2018.
Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive of Association of Mental Health Providers, commented:
“The draft strategy sets out the current workforce landscape, the work underway and describes the approach to shaping the face of the NHS and social care workforce over the next two decades, and rightly, considers the workforce plans for priorities such as mental health. However, we have been disappointed to see that the consultation document remains very NHS-focused and does not tackle the workforce challenges that are faced by the voluntary and community sector.
“When considering these challenges, it is important to note the role of the skilled non-NHS workforce, who have a vital role in delivering care and support in community settings, and meeting the challenges of the workforce cannot be achieved without considering the whole system. It must be emphasised that change cannot be achieved by just increasing NHS and/or clinical staff, but utilising the whole workforce, taking into account the knowledge and skills based in community settings, which will allow for positive change and better outcomes.
“The NHS provides an undeniably significant service, but the fact remains that wherever possible people want to be settled in communities and not have to enter the NHS. The workforce strategy needs to consider this and there has to be a more joined-up, integrated and cross-sector approach to meet the workforce challenges faced by, not just the health, but also the social care sector.
“As the only representative body for voluntary and community sector mental health service providers, we must emphasise the significant role of the VCSE sector in the delivery of services, and it is essential that the knowledge and real strength of this sector is taken seriously alongside the NHS to achieve the Government’s workforce plans in the mental health sector, and other priority areas as stated in the Five Year Forward View.”
For more information, please contact Dania Hanif, Policy and Communications Lead, on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7766 7496.
 Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, A draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027, December 2017
 “Health Education England launches plan to ‘future-proof’ NHS and care workforce“, Health Education England Blog, 13 December 2017