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NHS: Staff

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 269779, tabled on 26 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the speciality staff workforce in the NHS (a) throughout the UK and (b) in regions with high vacancy rates.

Answered on

4 July 2019

The Government has already committed to funding for universities to offer an extra 1,500 undergraduate medical school places for domestic students. The first 630 places were taken up in September 2018 and the remaining additional places will have been made available by universities by 2020/21. By 2020, five new medical schools will have opened in England to help deliver the expansion.

The NHS Long Term Plan set out the need to ensure a sustainable overall balance between supply and demand across all staff groups. For doctors, it also focussed on reducing geographical and specialty imbalances. Subsequently, the interim NHS People Plan set out the action we will take now and over the long term to meet the challenges of supply, reform, culture and leadership, and changes in demand for health care. Actions include reviewing what further expansion in undergraduate medical places will be needed, in light of future plans made locally by sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems; and the establishment of a national programme board to address geographic and specialty shortages in doctors.