New plan to develop frontline NHS Wales workforce

Recruitment to Wales is a problem because the aspirations of doctors and surgeons are for excellence. They hope their children will aspire as well, and the infrastructure and the attitude of the politicians needs to support such aspiration. This used to be the case, particularly in Education, where teachers from Wales were highly valued and sought after in the first half of the last century. With the WG elections next year, the last thing the assembly will want is Hospitals closing because of lack of applicants. Perhaps some are considering Australia? (Australia offers free weekends to lure NHS consultants)

The Aneurin Bevan Health Board on Friday 17th July announces yet another move to help recruitment. “New plan to develop frontline NHS Wales workforce“…

A new plan to strengthen the primary care workforce to deliver new models of care and look after more people close to their homes has been published by Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford today
The primary care workforce plan will be backed by an extra £4.5m of funding as the Welsh Government continues to invest in primary care to recruit, educate and train the wide range of healthcare professionals who are key to providing health services in local communities.The majority of patient contacts with the Welsh NHS are in primary care services, such as GP surgeries; NHS dentists or local opticians. The plan outlines how the Welsh Government will continue to invest in GPs, community nurses, pharmacists, healthcare support workers and other clinical staff to provide more care closer to people’s homes and move services out of hospitals.

The plan supports the continued development of the 64 primary care clusters across Wales, which include GPs working with pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, therapists, nurses and healthcare workers.

It calls for a more robust and joined-up approach to workforce planning, including greater sharing of information, which will help redesign ways of providing care outside hospitals.

The strategy also includes a number of actions to stabilise core sections of the workforce, including GPs and nurses, by supporting people who want to return to practice or work part-time; exploring how training and working in general practice can be encouraged in areas of greatest need and communicating the opportunities afforded by general practice in Wales.

Measures include:

  • Increase the number of Welsh Government-funded places on return-to-nursing practice courses
  • Investment in advanced and extended skills, including non-medical prescribing and advance practice education
  • Working with health boards and universities to develop an education and training programme for physicians associates in Wales
  • Establish how Wales can move to a position where multi-professional training becomes the norm for centrally-funded NHS education programmes
  • Expand the range of care settings in which training can be carried out and build on the experiences of learning wards in community settings
  • Analyse existing and future Welsh language population needs and the support needed by the workforce to meet those needs
  • Establish a national programme of organisational development for the 64 primary care clusters
  • Expand the GP retainer scheme, which offers flexible working opportunities to encourage professionals thinking of retiring to stay in work part-time
  • Reimburse medical school fees when a newly-qualified doctor commits to a career in general practice
  • A national GP recruitment campaign promoting the benefits of a career in Wales
  • Changing the law to make it easier for GPs registered to work in England to work in Wales for short periods of time without the need to make a full application to join a Welsh health board’s performers list
  • Working with medical schools to increase the proportion of general practice and community placements medical students experience.
ProfessorDrakeford said:“Our goal is to meet the rising demand for healthcare by making the most of the skills our dedicated primary care workforce already have and supporting them in their continued desire to innovate and improve the services they provide every day.

“This can be achieved by bringing together teams of people with the necessary skills to meet the needs of people and the local communities they serve. It is also important that everyone in those teams works at the top of their clinical competence – they only do what only they can do.

“This prudent healthcare approach to developing our primary care workforce will improve access to care and the continuity and quality of that care.  It is also central to rebalancing the workload of all those who work in primary care so roles and services are sustainable and can adapt to meet future demand.”

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Community Health Councils, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Professionals, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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