Health Education England launches business plan for 2021/22

Health Education England has published its Business Plan for 2021/22 outlining how it will support the NHS now, in the future, and meet the ongoing challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation said “the pandemic shows that we must grasp the moment and act”, so it’s refreshed its goals to be more ‘ambitious and challenging’.

In the paper, the organisation highlights its long term goals, priorities and lists a series of specific objectives and how it will approach and achieve them.

HEE outlined three strategic long-term goals:

  • Future Workforce – To reform clinical education, this includes helping to deliver 50,000 more nurses by 2024, increasing the number of GP training places to 4,000 and reducing health inequalities by widening access to health careers. 
  • Current Workforce – Transform today’s workforce into a co-operative, flexible, multi-professional, digitally enabled system. This includes supporting the expansion and development of multi-disciplinary teams in primary care and expanding the advanced practice programme.  
  • Quality – Assure and deliver with partners, quality education and training that is rigorous, highly sought after and future focused. 

In the paper it states over 90% of the HEE budget is allocated to educating and training the future workforce through universities and health providers. However, priorities will be considered following the impact of the COVID pandemic.

The organisation set out its six overarching priorities:

  • COVID-19 response and recovery: HEE will give priority to working collaboratively with its arms-length body partners. Through the recovery phase, HEE and NHSE/I should work in partnership to align service redesign and workforce planning, embedding beneficial learning from the pandemic.
  • Government healthcare workforce priorities: HEE is expected to contribute to the 50,000 additional nurses programme and towards the government’s ambition to increase the number of GP training places to 4,000 a year.
  • NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) delivery: HEE will take forward actions to increase the supply of people trained to fill the roles needed to bolster mental health and cancer and diagnostics services as outlined in the LTP.
  • Long term workforce planning and reform to services: HEE will lead a workforce planning process with NHSE/I which will inform a future health workforce strategy.
  • Collaboration with social care: HEE will continue to develop its work with the social care system at all levels promoting an integrated approach to the health and social care workforce and support ICSs to join up their local workforce planning and development of health and social care.
  • Supply of Information: HEE will provide finance, activity and outcome information to DHSC to support in year financial discussions with DHSC and inform the next spending review.

Dr Navina Evans, Chief Executive of HEE, commented: “We are pleased to publish our business plan which sets out our aims for the coming year. We have refreshed our organisational goals to be more ambitious, strategic and challenging and to respond to the needs of the NHS which have been impacted by coronavirus in many ways.  

“Over the past year, we have all needed to be agile, innovative, and cooperative. Now we must refocus and recover by learning lessons, supporting our people, and working together. In our case, continuing to support the NHS; helping learners deal with the mental and physical aftermath; and securing the future progress of qualified clinicians with as little delay as possible.”

Read the HEE Business Plan here >