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"This plan includes practical actions based on what our people tell us matters to them. This includes high-quality health and wellbeing support and a more inclusive and fglexible organisation. These changes must remain part of the blueprint of our NHS as we move forward together." - Prerana Issar, NHS Chief People Officer

NHS England and Health Education England have today (Thursday 30th July 2020) published the next part of the NHS People Plan. We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/21 action for us all sets out what our NHS people can expect from leaders and each other.

The pandemic has created real difficulties, laying bare how our NHS people’s lives can be deeply personally and professionally challenging. It has further revealed inequalities, shining a spotlight on the urgent need to address the safety and experience of our colleagues from ethnic minorities. 

We have also learned so much from this experience. The courage, flexibility, innovation and collaboration of our people has already transformed the NHS faster than we could have imagined. Everyone who works in the NHS has felt public appreciation like never before and can take extraordinary pride and fulfilment in the contribution they make. We must not ‘roll back’ on our support to our NHS staff as we look ahead to the rest of 2020/21.

We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/21

This plan aims to make real and lasting change, building on the creativity and drive shown by our NHS people in their response to the pandemic. It is practical and ambitious, setting out the focused action that NHS people have told us they need right now, and for the rest of the financial year. It includes specific commitments around:

  • Looking after our people – with quality health and wellbeing support for everyone
  • Belonging in the NHS – with a focus on tackling the discrimination that some staff face
  • New ways of working – effective use of the full range of our people’s skills and experience
  • Growing for the future – how we recruit, train and keep our people, and welcome back colleagues who want to return

"With the right leadership, NHS teams can flourish."

Please see page 29 onwards for key actions to support leaders that particularly pertinent to the leadership agenda 20/21.

Read the online version of the People Plan or access the audio version here.

Our NHS People Promise

Published alongside the People Plan for 2020/21, Our NHS People Promise challenges us all to make the NHS a better place to work. Its themes and words come from colleagues who work in the NHS, who have told us what would improve their working experience.

For some staff, parts of the Promise will already match their current experience. For others, it may still feel out of reach. We must pledge as colleagues, line managers, employers and central bodies to work together to make these ambitions a reality for all of us, within the next four years.

In the North West

Regional People Boards are being established to support the delivery of the ambitions set out in the NHS People Plan. The North West People Board, and associated sub boards, will provide oversight and governance to the North West People Team led by Anthony Hassall, Regional Chief People Officer / Director of Workforce and OD, NHS England and NHS Improvement – North West.

Following the successful collaborative efforts of the NW Covid-19 Workforce & HR Cell, partners NHS England North West, NHS North West Leadership Academy and HEE North West transitioned to become the North West People Team. The transition took place as we began to enter the recovery phase following consultation with key health and care stakeholders in the region. The People Plan provides strategic focus for the joint working of the virtual North West People Team going forward, whose workstreams align to the priorities of the People Plan. Click here to read more about the integral part NHS NWLA will play in the People Team and for information about phase two.

What’s coming next?

Twitter chats held in August hosted and facilitated by NHS Horizons using the #OurNHSPeople and #WeAreTheNHS hashtags. Prerana Issar will be the lead for each session and will be supported by panellists.

The publication of this plan is part of a conversation that began with the Interim People Plan in June 2019. We are providing further health and wellbeing resources for all NHS organisations. We are also setting out the leadership values and behaviours we all want to see and experience, particularly around equality, diversity and inclusion, in a new Leadership Compact. 

Further action for 2021/22 and beyond is expected to be set out later in the year, once funding arrangements for future years have been confirmed by the government. The arrival of COVID-19 acted as a springboard, bringing about an incredible scale and pace of transformation, and highlighting the enormous contribution of all our NHS people. The NHS must build on this momentum and continue to transform – keeping people at the heart of all we do.

This is our opportunity to take a huge step forward in creating an equal, inclusive and diverse NHS. Each of us in the North West has a part to play in making this a lasting change.

Join the conversation #OurNHSPeople #WeAreTheNHS

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