Expert Panel Evaluates Government’s commitments to health and social care workforce in England

In an attempt to tackle the health and social care workforce crisis, the Government made commitments to the sector in 2021, through aiding the building of a skilled workforce, planning for the workforce and the wellbeing of the people at work.

Earlier this month, the panel, who is comprised of medical experts, evaluated a scattering of these commitments and found that an inadequate attempt to (or even start to) fulfill them was made by the Government. Throughout the report, there was a request for the commitments to be broken down into formed guidelines rather than sweeping statements which make the pledges unattainable.

Why the Panel deemed the progress inadequate:

  1. Planning for the workforce
    • The Panel found that the allocated funding for this pledge was inadequate for the level of progress needed.
    • They also found that an appreciation for what the workforce exactly needed was lacking and therefore suggesting that an approach of listening to those on the ground in the workforce would be beneficial.
  2. Building a skilled workforce
    • Similarly to the first point, a predominant issue of a lack of accessible long-term funding was highlighted here, which, for example, restricts staff from being released from clinical duties for mandatory training which creates the skilled workforce.
    • There was a call for stronger investment into structures which allow staff to be trained to further the development of services, rather than just the maintenance of such services.
  3. Wellbeing at work
    • The Panel conclude that the root causes of the issues surrounding wellbeing at work need to be tackled if this pledge is to be fulfilled: less workload pressure placed on staff, for example.
    • Further, there was a request for improvements to the accessibility of wellbeing services to be made rather than just the implementation of them too.

Impact on the sector

The restriction of the funding and guidance for these commitments mean that help from the government is limited, despite their promises and therefore, the evaluation from the Panel is an important resource to hold the government to account.

 

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