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NHS People Plan Published

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NHS England publishes NHS People Plan 2020-21.

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NHS England has released the long-awaited NHS People Plan, which you can read here. It has four areas of focus: looking after NHS staff, with commitments around health and wellbeing support; belonging in the NHS, specifically tackling discrimination; how staff can work and deliver care in new ways; and how the NHS can recruit, retain and welcome back returners to the service.

The plan launches an Our People Promise, which challenges everyone who works in the NHS to come together to ensure that the NHS is a rewarding, safe, flexible and inclusive place to work.

The People Plan was produced in consultation with trade unions, including MiP, and it is an ambitious and forward-thinking piece of work. There are gaps. We are still waiting for decisions on pay and reward and on spending review commitments for workforce investment in the longer term. MiP is campaigning with our sister unions for an early and substantial pay rise for NHS staff for their role in responding to the pandemic. But we will welcome the 2020/21 plan and MiP will contribute to its implementation.

Highlights of the People Plan

  • Flexible and remote working: employers should be open to all clinical and non-clinical permanent roles being flexible, and should consider it good practice to offer flexible working from day one of employment. Guidance for managers on supporting flexible working will be produced and available online by December. 
  • Tackling inequality and discrimination: by October, employers should overhaul recruitment and promotion practices to make sure their staffing reflects diversity in their community, and regional and national labour markets. This means creating accountability for outcomes, agreeing diversity targets, and addressing bias in systems and processes. From September, NHS England will provide expert-led seminars on health inequalities and racial injustice for managers.  
  • Leadership development: NHS England and Improvement will update the talent management process to ensure there is greater diversity in talent being considered for director, executive senior manager, chair and board roles by December. By January 2021, there will be updated and expanded free online training material for all NHS line managers, and a management apprenticeship pathway will be launched for those who want to progress their careers.

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