08 November 2023

The NHS Long Term Workforce plan was published on 30 June 2023, and it is the first comprehensive workforce plan for the NHS, setting out NHSE’s plans to address existing and future workforce challenges over the next 15 years.

We welcome the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan and its ambitions on workforce expansion, retention and reform of working practices and training. Clear workforce planning within the NHS has long been needed, but we remain sceptical the plan will be able to achieve all of its targets until further detailed plans are developed.

Workforce planning must also account for specialist care and this plan fails to put forth a plan for rheumatology and other medical specialties. We will continue to campaign for the increase in rheumatology specialists set out in our People We Need campaign and to give Rheumatology the visibility it deserves within the discussion of wider healthcare provision.

As well as campaigning nationally at a political audience with the 2024 general election coming, the Long-Term Workforce Plan provides us with an opportunity to campaign with our members in a different way – at a local, regional and England-wide level. 

With that in mind the EA Department will be bringing forward plans in 2024, in co-operation with Membership, Comms and Education, for an advocacy campaign on Rheumatology specialist training and education.

You can read our ‘NHSE Long-term Workforce Plan Explainer’ to learn more about the key commitments in the plan.