Intended for healthcare professionals


Health leaders question absence of workforce strategy in NHS elective care recovery plan

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: (Published 08 February 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o343
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The government has promised to build more surgical and community diagnostic hubs in England and to give patients greater control over their healthcare provider as part of its long awaited recovery plan for elective care to reduce the NHS backlog and tackle waiting times.1

But the targets set out on 8 February will not be met without the staff to run the expanded services, health leaders have warned.

Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said that the plan depended on the “recovery of urgent and emergency care, as the two are intimately entwined both with respect to workforce and estate.”

He added, “We will also need to build on it with a full plan for recruiting enough new staff to meet patient demand and the steps we’ll take to retain existing staff, including flexible and remote working for those returning to practice. Targets help patients to understand what they can expect from the …

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