NHS: Recruitment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Anne Marie Morris Anne Marie Morris Conservative, Newton Abbot

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to tackle workforce shortages in (a) rheumatology and (b) other specialty workforce shortages in the NHS people plan.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

‘We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/2021 – action for us all’ sets out a plan to expand capacity and skills in the workforce. This includes additional training support for shortage specialties and measures to improve wellbeing and retention.

NHS Digital statistics, as at July 2020, showed that there were almost 37% more full time equivalent rheumatology consultants and almost 14% more rheumatology trainees in National Health Service trusts and clinical commissioning groups since 2010.

To further increase the supply of doctors we have increased the number of medical school places by 1,500 over the last three years, and this year we have seen more medical students in training than at any other time in NHS history. Health Education England is also investing in an extra 250 foundation year two posts in 2020/21, to enable the doctors filling them to grow the pipeline into psychiatry, cancer, general practice and other priority areas.

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