The long-term NHS workforce plan will be published later this week and will be ‘one of the most significant announcements in the history of the NHS’, the Prime Minister has said.
Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, Rishi Sunak said the 15-year plan will make sure that ‘we can hire the doctors, nurses and GPs that we need, not just today, but for years into the future, to provide the care that we all need’.
Mr Sunak said the plan ‘will represent is the largest expansion in training and workforce in the NHS is history’ but will also ‘draw on the latest innovations and techniques to streamline the process from classroom to clinic, because it’s right that healthcare adapts and evolve as our needs change’.
‘This is the NHS’s plan. And it’s right that we back them to do it and it will mean people can have confidence that the doctors and nurses and GPs that we will need will be there and then we can reduce our reliance on foreign-trained healthcare professionals,’ he said.
Admitting that recruitment efforts may ‘take time’ to have an impact for patients, he said taking a longer-term approach was ‘the right thing to do’.
‘Governments should make the right long term decisions for the country. It has never been done before,’ he said.
‘People have always said the NHS needs a long-term plan. So we hire more doctors, more nurses, more GPs, and we and yes, as you say it takes five, 10, 15 years for these things to come through. That doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing for me to do because I’m focused on doing the right long-term things for the country.’
The long-awaited plan is expected to announce a doubling of medical school places and a greater focus on bringing in new NHS staff via apprenticeship routes. It is not known what plans it will set out to retain existing NHS staff.