Workforce is now the biggest challenge facing health and care leaders. With c100,000 vacancies in the NHS in England alone, the Interim NHS People Plan, published in June 2019, set out priority areas to empower local systems to begin to address these shortages. The NHS Confederation is pushing national leaders to go further and faster in terms of devolving a range of related funding and powers to Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to develop and determine their future, local workforce. Critical to this is the need for new strategic, place-based relationships with sectors such as local government, local enterprise partnerships, higher and further education and VCSE organisations. To guide and support ICS leaders the NHS Confederation is working to understand the nature and potential of these relationships and the principles that should underpin them.
The Independent Commission on the College of the Future was launched in March 2019. It aims to set out a new vision for colleges in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and will report its recommendations in spring 2020. The review of the role of colleges comes at a time when, across the four nations of the UK colleges are coming to receive much greater political focus. The future role of colleges will also play an important part of the inclusive growth agenda, which seeks to enable more people and places to benefit from the proceeds of economic growth and for which many of the critical local factors are employment-related.
This roundtable will be an opportunity to understand the priority areas for the Commission’s review, hear about existing good practice and discuss how, through working closely with local colleges in new ways, the NHS, along with social care, can play its full potential as both an employer and local ‘anchor organisation’.