We are the NHS: a summary of the NHS People Plan 2020/21

Hospital staff

The NHS People Plan outlines the actions organisations, employers and staff will need to take to transform the NHS workforce.

We are the NHS: People Plan 2020/21 sets out guidelines for employers and systems within the NHS, as well as actions for NHS England and NHS Improvement and Health Education England throughout the coming months and year.

Central to the plan is Our People Promise, which outlines behaviours and actions staff can expect from NHS leaders and colleagues, to improve the experience of working in the NHS for everyone.

Actions within the plan fall under four themes: 

  • Looking after our people
  • Belonging in the NHS
  • New ways of working and delivering care 
  • Growing for the workforce 

The specific actions for each area are highlighted in a summary table produced by NHS Employers, part of the NHS Confederation.  The organisation has also produced a slide pack summarising the key points in the plan for NHS board members.


The plan focuses on a commitment to look after staff and places emphasis on tackling the discrimination that some staff can face, including those from a black and minority ethnic background.

But the plan does not contain new money. "The government must fulfil its pledge to provide a comprehensive and realistic multi-year settlement in the Comprehensive Spending Review in the Autumn – a settlement which supports the ambitions in the Plan to tackle a workforce crisis which every day places intolerable strains on staff up and down England," the head of the NHS Confederation, Niall Dickson said on 30 July.

Read our full response and that of NHS Employers.

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