Interim NHS People Plan calls for more flexible working

The Government’s interim People Plan for the NHS envisages greater flexible working and more efforts to attract back nurses who have left the profession.

flexible working nhs employee


More flexible working and flexible career paths as well as renewed efforts to encourage nurses back into the workforce are outlined in the interim NHS People Plan, published today.

The report sets out several main areas where improvement is needed to ensure the NHS has the workforce it needs for the future, including ways to address the current nursing shortage.

It pledges to “encourage second and third careers within the NHS, offering diverse and flexible opportunities and careers” and to “significantly increase flexible working through a combination of technology and a change in people practices” in order to give people greater choice over their working patterns, get a better work-life balance and compete against other employers.

The interim plan says there is a need to advertise more roles as flexible, including job shares and, where possible, home working in line with other sectors.

It also says pathways into the NHS need to be widened and calls for the development of flexible career pathways, particularly for scarce roles.

On the nursing shortage, it says that, since September 2014, Health Education England has recruited more than 5,400 nurses onto return to practice courses. It wants to increase this number and says Health Education Health Careers is launching a new marketing campaign designed to inspire more nurses to return to practice and make them aware of the opportunities and support available.

Interim NHS People Plan action points for this year

  • To review the Health Careers website to ensure it is an attractive advertisement for a wide range of roles and entry points into the NHS, allowing it to compete with other large national employers.
  • To commission an independent review of HR practice in the NHS with recommendations about how to bring it in line with the best of the public and private sectors.
  • To consider actions to encourage more clinicians and people from outside the NHS to take up senior leadership positions
  • To establish a portfolio of free online learning modules for carers
  • To improve staff engagement

The Government will work towards the development of a costed five-year People Plan to be published later this year.

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