The number of nursing staff working outside acute settings will grow by 7% over a 15-year period, the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan has suggested.
Meanwhile, it appears that more than 5,000 primary care nurses will be recruited through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) by 2036/37.
Within its plan – which sets out workforce modelling from 2021/22 to 2036/37 – NHS England appears to have marked its commitment to ‘shift skills and capacity’ into the community and outside of acute settings.
It said the plan will ‘deliver a material impact on the size and proportion of NHS staff working in non-acute settings’ and has signalled its ambitions for a significant increase in training places for district nurses, school nurses and health visitors.
NHS England claimed it aims to grow the number of staff working in primary, community, and mental health care by 73% by 2036/37, to help ‘deliver more preventative and proactive care’ across the health service.
However, it suggested the total number of nursing staff working outside acute settings was ‘projected to increase’ just 7%, from the current 30% to 37%, in the same time period. It added that the total community workforce would almost double in size by 2036/37.
In addition, the plan stated that NHS England would ‘seek to extend the success’ of the ARRS programme which it claimed had delivered an additional 29,000 ‘multiprofessional roles’ in primary care since its launch in 2019.
In extending the scheme, the plan said this would ‘build extra capacity and free up available appointments by increasing the number of non-GP direct patient care staff by around 15,000 and primary care nurses by more than 5,000 by 2036/37’.
Nursing in Practice is seeking clarification with NHS England over whether or not these nurses would be recruited through ARRS and if they would be registered nurses.
In setting out ‘new and extended roles’ within multidisciplinary teams, a table within the plan highlights primary care nurses as a ‘key’ role for expansion and suggests the ‘estimated supply’ will stand at 5,400 by 2036/37.