Developments in workforce planning (older posts)

Older developments in workforce planning 

See recent developments

The Department of Health has announced that trainee surgeons and doctors will be encouraged to opt out of the Working Time Directive.

More details can be found on the RCPCH news page or the article can be accessed in The Telegraph

Department of Health mandate to Health Education England (HEE)

This refreshed mandate sets out the governments strategic objectives from April 2014 to March 2015. Read the full mandate: Delivering high quality, effective, compassionate care: Developing the right people with the right skills and the right values
You can read the RCPCH response to HEE mandate here

The implementation of the working time directive, and its impact on the NHS and health professionals

The final report of the independent working time regulations taskforce was published in March 2014. It has reviewed the evidence on the effect of the regulations on the delivery of patient care and the training of doctors and has made some recommendations. The full report can be accessed here: Independent working time regulations taskforce report

Conference - Child Health in the UK : The future

RCPCH’s first workforce planning conference – Child Health in the UK: the future – was held on 11-12 April 2013 in Manchester, exploring a variety of issues surrounding workforce planning for child health.

Copies of the presentations are available upon request from

HEE workforce plan for England

The workforce plan sets out the improvements HEE plan to make in education and training programmes from September 2014. The full report can be accessed here: HEE workforce plan.

RCPCH  responds to the Implementation of the European Working Time Directive Taskforce call for evidence

A taskforce which is considering the implementation of the European Working Time Directive and its impact on the NHS and health professionals has been convened at the request of the Prime Minister's office.

The RCPCH response to the call for evidence is available here:RCPCH response to EWTD call for evidence.

RCN define staffing levels for all children and young people's nursing

These standards provide the minimum essential requirements for all providers of services for babies, children and young people.

Defining staffing levels for children and young people's services.

RCPCH responds to Shape of Training review

In October 2013 the RCPCH submitted a response titled, Shape of Training Review: "a bold blueprint for the training of future doctors" to the Shape of Training Review report, 2013. More details can be found on the RCPCH news page.

RCPCH responds to Health Education England calls for evidence

In August 2013 RCPCH responded to two calls for evidence released by Health Education England, Workforce Planning 2013/2014 and Strategic Development Framework.

Both responses can be accessed on the Health Policy Consultations page.  

Public accounts committee report of managing consultant contracts

In June 2013 the Public Accounts Committee reported on managing NHS hospital consultants, which, among other recommendations, calls for improved reporting on consultant performance and more effective performance management.

The full report is available here: Department of Health: managing NHS hospital consultants - Public Accounts Committee 

RCPCH response to balance of competences between the UK and the European Union

The RCPCH has submitted a response to the call for Evidence on the Government's review of the balance of competences between the UK and the European Union, 27 February 2013.

The response can be accessed at: RCPCH response to Review of Balance Competences

Patients have a right to the same standard of care seven days a week

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges launched its report outlining three patient-centred standards to delivering high quality care to patients seven days a week in December 2012.

The full report can be accessed at:

The RCPCH press release can be found in our News section,  RCPCH welcomes Academy consultant delivered care report.

Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum report published

In July 2012 the independent forum published its proposals on how to improve healthcare for children and young people. This included recommendations on the children’s workforce, education and training.

The full report can be found here:

The system wide response to the Forum report is available here:

Consultant Delivered Service

Sen et al (2012) have published an article in the Emergency Medicine Journal titled The Impact of consultant delivered service in emergency medicine: the Wrexham Model which concludes that consultant delivered services have many advantages compared to services provided by middle grade or junior doctors. This was published online first in April 2011.

Patients benefit from continued consultant cover

A report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in April 2012 finds that patients have better outcomes and are less likely to be readmitted in units where acute physicians are on call for more than one day at a time, have no other routine duties during that time, do two or more ward rounds per day and are present in the acute medical unit for more than four hours for seven days.

The full report can be accessed via Acute Medicine Evaluation

RCP Parliamentary Briefing Health and Social Care Bill

The Royal College of Physician's February 2012 briefing outlines the RCP's concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill, which became an Act on 27 March 2012, in the areas of education and training, competition, commissioning, integration and quality.

RCP Parliamentary Briefing

The future consultant workforce

A report by the CfWI (Centre for Workforce Intelligence) has stated that the total consultant workforce is set to increase by 60% by 2020 if doctors continue to be trained and recruited at current rates. The report describes a number of future scenarios and CfWI are encouraging contributions to this debate. You can read the report at:

Liberating the NHS: Developing the Healthcare Workforce

On the 10 January 2012, DH set out a new education and training system, with two central planks – Health Education England (HEE) and the Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs). This document also sets out its changes to the workforce information landscape to support new organisations in undertaking workforce planning and education and training commission.

The Benefits of Consultant Delivered Care

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges published The Benefits of Consultant Delivered Care in January 2012. The report identified the following key benefits of consultant delivered care:

  • rapid and appropriate decision making
  • improved outcomes
  • more efficient use of resources
  • GP's access to the opinion of a fully trained doctor
  • patient expectation of access to appropriate and skilled clinicians and information
  • benefits for the training of junior doctors

Visit our consultant delivered care page to read more about the College’s work in this area.

RCPCH response to Health Committee consultation on education, training and workforce planning

In December 2011, the College responded to a Health Committee inquiry into education, training and workforce planning. The submission can be downloaded from our health policy consultations page.

Medical Training Number Recommendations for England

The Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) has recommended (25 August 2011) that no change is made to either the number of training posts or the current geographical distribution of training places over the next three years, in England. A further review is planned for 2014.

Shape of the medical workforce: Informing medical specialty training numbers

The College is pleased that this recommendation acknowledges its policy outlined in Facing the Future that a package of measures needs to be implemented coherently before decreasing the number of paediatric trainees. These measures include the implementation of service standards, a reduction of the number of in-patient units by approximately 48, with 32 new 14-hour SSPAUs, alongside an increase in the number of consultants by over 50% with increasing use of resident consultants. There also need to be increases in the number of advanced children’s and neonatal nurse practitioners and GPs trained in paediatrics.

The CfWI recommendation was based upon the extensive data that the College was able to provide about workforce numbers both current and future gathered from its workforce censuses and other data sources.

The College looks forward to continuing working closely with the CfWI to develop a sustainable workforce policy for paediatrics.

NHS workforce planning papers

In 2010 The Kings Fund produced an influential report NHS Workforce Planning – Limitations and possibilities

NHS Employers published a discussion paper the Future of the Medical Workforce (PDF, 61KB, 8 pages) in 2007.

Modelling the workforce

The RCPCH works collaboratively with the Department of Health, Health Education England (HEE) and the Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) to improve modelling of future supply and demand of trained paediatricians.