NHS recovery plan

The NHS recovery plan sets out key ambitions and actions to be developed and delivered now and over the next 5 years in order to address the backlog in care and meet ongoing healthcare needs for people across Scotland.

Workforce & Recruitment

We can only realise the ambitions set out this Recovery Plan through a commitment to invest in the NHS workforce that is commensurate with our target of delivering a progressive 10% increase in elective capacity over the next five years.To do so we will take forward new recruitment both nationally and internationally, establish new training and development pathways in key areas of workforce need - such as in pre-operative and perioperative care - and we will continue to maintain highly competitive terms and conditions of service.

One important way in which we have already recognised the unwavering commitment and dedication of NHS staff has been through the 4% pay rise agreed in May this year . It was the biggest pay uplift for NHS staff since devolution and has ensured our NHS staff remain the best paid in the UK.In addition, we have agreed to implement the recommendations of the Doctors and Dentists Review Board.We will work through our nationally recognised partnership structures and with stakeholders to ensure that we have open and inclusive working environments supported by progressive workforce policies.

Prior to the pandemic significant progress had been achieved in expanding medical, nursing and midwifery training places, alongside increasing postgraduate specialty medical training fill rates, enabling us to begin to build the workforce we need for the future. This progress has been sustained during the course of the pandemic, with record numbers commencing training in 2020/21 (4206 for nursing and 1138 for medicine); and with that number set to rise further this autumn.We will continue to grow the number of undergraduate medical training places by 100 per annum over the lifetime of this Plan and double the number of Widening Participation places.

We will consolidate, and build further, on the progress already made against commitments set out in Integrated Health and Social Care Workforce Plan, to manage post-pandemic service recovery, and fulfil our promise to the workforce.This includes delivery of a number of longer-term commitments, including 800 additional mental health workers, recruitment of 320 staff for CAMHS, 500 additional advanced nurse practitioners, increasing the GP workforce by 800 by 2026/27. To further support paramedic training, from September 2021 we are introducing a new Paramedic Students Bursary, providing eligible students with up to £10,000 per year. We are also expanding the physiotherapy workforce to increase the number of advanced Musculo-skeletal (MSK) practitioners in primary care by 225 by 24/25 and increasing Reporting Radiography training places by 30 (10 in each of the next 3 years).Further, in Healthcare science we are increasing cardiac physiology by 30 places training places and promoting new recruitment into Scientist training programmes.

Alongside these commitments, we will recruit an additional 1,500 staff over the lifetime of this Plan, to support the accelerated delivery of the National Treatment Centre's Programme. This will be underpinned by investing £11 million in new recruitment activity and in the creation of a National Centre for Workforce Supply. The centre will offer health boards expert advice on labour market intelligence and coordinate recruitment campaigns, providing vital additional support to health board recruitment teams.

By the end of this year we will publish a National Workforce Strategy that supports the delivery of this recovery plan, specifically its key workforce targets. The strategy will set out the strategic framework through which we will design, develop and deliver training programmes in partnership with NHS National Education Scotland and the NHS Academy, offering new routes into the NHS, and broadening opportunities for young people – in support of our Young Person's Guarantee - alongside those who may be seeking a career change.This will enable them to receive on-the-job clinical training and a route to future career progression. The Academy will also offer enhanced clinical training to existing staff in critical services, such as endoscopy, to allow them to build their skills and take on new and challenging roles as we build more sustainable future services.Furthermore, the National Workforce Strategy will set out how we will invest record resources in ethical international recruitment, supporting new staff from overseas to build their lives and careers in an open and welcoming Scotland.


Email: Tracy.Slater@gov.scot

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