The NHS touches all of our lives at times of basic human need when care and compassion are what matter most. At the very heart of this compassion is our fantastic workforce. Made up of a rich community of professions, experiences and backgrounds, our people truly are our most precious asset.
People professionals – those who lead on all aspects of the people agenda – play a huge part in making the NHS the vibrant, resourceful organisation it is today, and will continue to influence how it will develop in the future.
This report was co-created by those most impacted by our work: NHS staff and their representatives, leaders and members of the people profession itself. It sets out the vision for how the people profession will continue to maximise our collective contribution to the NHS and meet the needs of staff, patients and local communities over the coming decade and beyond – building a brighter future for all.
Underpinning this vision is a shared commitment to enhance capabilities across the profession, to increase our level of intentional collaboration, beyond traditional teams or organisational boundaries and to use our collective resources to make significant progress on the key issues of our day and those we can predict for the future.
All of this will add up to a more resilient, flexible and sustainable service, attracting people who want to join the NHS, supporting people to remain and develop in the NHS, and facilitating high quality care for our communities.
The pandemic has placed demands on everyone in our NHS, and these are still being felt. But it has also highlighted our many strengths, including an astonishing flexibility in responding to changing needs and expectations. All 16,000 members of our people profession have much to be proud of – they have demonstrated a commitment that has never been stronger and a value to the NHS that has never been clearer.
I have every confidence that the people profession will rise to the challenge set out in this plan and will use its expertise to help the NHS thrive in the years to come. I would greatly appreciate the ongoing efforts of all our people professionals and leaders to get behind our collective vision – and the actions set out in this report – to make it our reality, in service of people professionals, our wider workforce and, of course, patients and local communities.
NHS Chief People Officer
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