COVID-19 Guidance for NHS workforce leaders

COVID-19 Guidance For NHS Workforce Leaders | NHS Employers

This guidance aims to help provide protection and support for NHS staff. It deals with the workforce and HR issues that are likely to arise during the current pandemic and is intended to supplement and help enact local plans.

The guidance in today’s release covers Staff health, safety and wellbeing – including advice on dealing with COVID-19 from Public Health England and the NHS Staff Council; occupational health services; staff with co-morbidities; personal protective equipment; emotional and mental support during the emergency period.

NHS Employers plans to publish further guidance later this week, which will cover:

  • staff terms and conditions of service
  • communicating with your workforce during the pandemic
  • increasing capacity through bringing back staff and additional sources of supply
    partnership working and facilities time
  • enabling staff movement across organisations
  • assurance around indemnity arrangements, pre-employment checks and professional registration.

Full detail: Health, Safety and Wellbeing | NHS Employers

NHS Employers: New menopause at work guidance

NHS Employers | March 2020 | New menopause at work guidance

New guidance from NHS Employers underlines that menopause in the workplace is not just a female issue, it’s an organisational issue. All managers and organisations need to know about it and be prepared and proactive when supporting their staff.


With our population now living longer, working longer, and with so many women working in the NHS, it’s vital that staff are supported to stay well and thrive in the workplace.

This new guidance created by the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group includes:

  • principles for organisations to consider when supporting their staff
  • principles for line managers to help them support their staff
  • principles for all staff to take on board when looking after themselves

Download the menopause at work guidance for more information (Source: NHS Employers). 

The NHS nursing workforce

This report aims to set out the facts on: the scale of the NHS nursing workforce challenge; the challenges to the main entry routes to NHS nursing and more general workforce-related challenges that any future plans will need to address; and the progress made on the People Plan.

Nurses are critical to the delivery of health and social care services, working across hospitals, community services, care homes and primary care. In 2019, around 519,000 people in England were registered to practise as a nurse, while the NHS employed 320,000 nurses in hospital and community services, making up about a quarter of all NHS staff.

In January 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan acknowledged the need to increase staff numbers, noting that the biggest shortfalls were in nursing. The NHS set up the People Plan programme to decide how it would secure the workforce it needed to meet its future service commitments. This report defines workforce planning as the analysis and plans required to ensure that the NHS has the number and type of staff it needs, now and in the future.

This report sets out the facts on:

  • the scale of the NHS nursing workforce challenge;
  • the challenges to the main entry routes to NHS nursing and more general workforce-related challenges that any future plans will need to address; and
  • the progress made on the People Plan.

Full report: The NHS Nursing Workforce

Nurse numbers increase by 8,570 in the past year

The number of nurses has gone up as the government works to increase nursing numbers in the NHS by 50,000 in the next 5 years | Department of Health & Social Care

Since 2010, there have been increases of more than:

  • 20,000 more doctors
  • 18,500 more nurses, midwives and health visitors
  • 4,900 more paramedics

The government has said there will be 50,000 more nurses and 6,000 more doctors in general practice by 2025. This will be supported by £33.9 billion of funding a year for the NHS by 2024 to 2025, which is being made law.

The latest UCAS statistics show the number of nursing applicants to English universities has risen for the second year running. There have been 35,960 applicants to nursing and midwifery courses at English universities in 2020 – a 6% rise compared to 2019.

Full story at Department of Health & Social Care

Violence against NHS staff: letter to the workforce

Department of Health and Social Care | February 2020 | Violence against NHS staff: letter to the workforce

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock has written a letter to all NHS staff about the problem of violence faced by those working for the NHS.

The letter can be read at NHS England 

Sky News NHS staff can refuse to treat racist or sexist patients under new rules

Metro Racist and sexist patients to be barred from non-emergency care   

NHS publishes latest NHS staff survey results

NHS England | February 2020 | NHS publishes latest NHS staff survey results

The findings of the NHS staff survey indicate that a little over  80 per cent of NHS staff are satisfied that they are providing the best care to patients. 

The annual survey of more than 560,000 NHS workers found that 13 per cent of staff reported being bullied, harassed or abused by their own manager in the past 12 months and almost a fifth, 19 per cent, said they had experienced abuse from colleagues.


Black and minority ethnic staff are also 14 per cent more likely to experience violence from members of the public or patients while discrimination on the grounds of ethnic background increased by four percentage points since 2018.

See NHS England NHS publishes latest NHS staff survey results

In the news:

The Independent Abusive NHS patients to be banned from receiving non-emergency care

HSJ Staff survey: Staff experiencing more violence than last year

National NHS Staff Survey Co-ordination Centre

NHS England | February 2020| National NHS Staff Survey Co-ordination Centre

The results of the NHS Staff survey have now been published, this is the seventeenth annual national survey of NHS staff. More than half a million staff completed the  2019 survey, yielding a response rate of 48.5% (compared to a response rate of 45.7% in 2018).


Further details available from NHS England

Additional link:

Press release NHS England