Exploring the implications of the Interim NHS People Plan

Catherine Best 8 Jul 2019 Safe staffing


Chair of the Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Board, Catherine Best, looks at the recently published Interim NHS People Plan and explores what it could mean for the workforce.

On 3 June 2019 NHS England launched its Interim NHS People Plan, to help tackle the significant shortages of health care staff across England. Visibly evident is the emphasis on how current nurse shortages is to be effectively managed.

The travesty of 40,000 nursing vacancies is now being taken seriously. It is clear however, that urgent action is needed now by all our ministers, nurses and healthcare workers to ensure the government remains on track.

The plan outlines what will be done to make the NHS a better place in which to work. A place where the best safe and effective care can be delivered by the right number of registered nurses who have the right knowledge, skills and experience and where career opportunities are supported.

Whilst this Plan is promising it must be backed by the appropriate funding. The RCN wants the government to invest at least £1bn a year into educating nurses now and in the future, so the NHS has the highly qualified nursing staff it needs to deliver safe and effective patient care.


Posts left unfilled put enormous pressure on nursing staff, we need action now and we are clear that this must be through legislation. That is why following the success in Wales and Scotland, the RCN is now campaigning for legislation that will guarantee nurse staffing levels in England, across all sectors and in all settings.

Members and activists from the Yorkshire and Humber region are currently formulating a plan to take the regional Staffing for Safe and Effective Care campaign forward. To make this a success we need each and every one of us to be the driving force behind this campaign. Members we need your experience and skills to help bring about a fundamental change, one that will make a difference to all healthcare staff. I urge you all not to miss this opportunity to get involved.

Catherine Kelsey

Catherine Best

Nursing Lecturer, University of Bradford

Catherine is a nursing lecturer at the University of Bradford and is module leader for the Advanced Physical Assessment and Clinical Decision Making Skills module.

Her contribution to nursing has been recognised by being awarded the title of Queen's Nurse by the Queen's Nursing Institute and becoming a nominated member of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Page last updated - 08/07/2019