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National workforce alignment made key priority

NHS Improvement has announced plans to work more closely with Health Education England to ensure the national workforce system is well aligned. The focus is to shift from regulation to improvement. A Chief People Officer role will be created and a People Directorate, which will be responsible for providing a cohesive approach to recruiting, retaining, deploying and developing the current NHS workforce. 


“A strong workforce is critical to the future of the NHS. By integrating the work of Health Education England with NHS Improvement, we will develop a more coherent approach to workforce development across the NHS. 


“I look forward to building a closer working relationship with Health Education England and welcoming colleagues from the NHS Leadership Academy from next April,” says Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement.


The government’s announcement of the five-year funding settlement and the development of the long-term plan has demonstrated the importance of national, regional and local organisations working together effectively to support the NHS.


Today’s announcement confirms that:


* Health Education England (HEE) will work jointly with NHS Improvement to develop HEE’s mandate for 2019/20 onwards. HEE’s board will continue to sign-off the draft mandate, but as a new step the mandate will then need to be approved by NHS Improvement’s board to ensure it meets service requirements, before approval by the Secretary of State. This will ensure that workforce plans are more closely aligned with NHS service plans.


* Subject to any necessary consultations, the NHS Leadership Academy will transfer from HEE to the new NHS Improvement and NHS England people function from 1 April 2019, maximising the natural fit between the work of the NHS Leadership Academy and the people function’s responsibility for executive and non-executive leadership and talent across the NHS. 


* Opportunities will be identified for HEE’s regional teams to align with the seven integrated regional teams of NHS Improvement and NHS England, in order to continue to build on the strong collaborative working that already exists across the country in support of local health systems.


For more on the workforce development strategy that NHS Improvement is working on, click here.