Expanding and developing our workforce

HEE will make progress through 2020/21 in addressing the most pressing workforce shortages in those service areas with the highest demand and those professions that require urgent focus:

Mental health: HEE is prioritising continued investment in training the future mental health workforce to support significant expansion in psychological therapies for children and young people, and boosting the number of advanced clinical practitioners, psychiatrists and mental health nurses. In 2020/21 this will include enabling up to 300 peer-support workers to join the mental health workforce and expanding education and training posts for the future workforce, including over 100 additional responsible clinicians, 50 community-based specialist mental health pharmacists, nearly 3000 adult IAPT practitioners, 245 children and young people’s psychological wellbeing practitioners and 300 children and young people’s IAPT practitioners.

HEE is also increasing the number of training places for clinical psychology and child and adolescent psychotherapy by 25% (total of 734 starting training in 2020/21) and investing in measures to expand psychiatry starting with an additional 17 core psychiatry training programmes in hard to recruit areas in 2020/21 and the development of bespoke Return to Practice and preceptorship programmes for mental health nursing.

Cancer: In 2021, HEE is prioritising the training of 400 clinical endoscopists and 450 reporting radiographers. Training grants are being offered for 350 nurses to become cancer nurse specialists and chemotherapy nurses, training 58 biomedical scientists, developing an advanced clinical practice qualification in oncology, and extending cancer support-worker training.

Advanced clinical practice: In 2020/21, HEE is funding a further 400 entrants to advanced clinical practice training, supported by the Centre for Advancing Practice – to build on the success already seen of using advanced practitioners to greater effect in multi-disciplinary teams, both in primary and secondary care.

Expanding shortage specialties: In 2020/21, HEE is investing in an extra 250 foundation year 2 posts, to enable the doctors filling them to grow the pipeline into psychiatry, general practice and other priority areas – notably, cancer, with clinical radiology, oncology and histopathology.

Increasing pre-registration places: HEE is working with universities to support an increase of over 5,000 undergraduate places from September 2020 in nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, and dental therapy and hygienist courses. HEE will also encourage expansion where there are postgraduate training opportunities to enter these professions.

Developing clinical pharmacists: To provide even more patient-centred care, a sustainable supply of prescribing pharmacists with enhanced clinical and consultation skills will be created. The key elements of the reform will be replacing the current pre-registration year with a foundation year, and enhancing clinical experience in initial education and training. This continuous, educational programme for pharmacists will still be five years in duration, and will link into advanced practice and research training. Working with stakeholders, and under the leadership of the General Pharmaceutical Council, the aim is to start this new approach from Summer 2021, building on HEE’s Interim Foundation Programme that will commence in September 2020.