Britians first medical schoolThe Nuffield Trust, in association with NHS Employers, has published a new report which suggests that developing the existing non-medical workforce is vital for trusts to meet the changing needs of patients.

NHS Employers commissioned the research to look at how NHS staffing could be re-organised to support new models of delivering care. In the report Reshaping the workforce to deliver the care patients need, it is argued that trusts should consider developing the workforce as an urgent priority.

The research considers the impacts and benefits of developing the following roles within the non-medical workforce:

  • the support workforce, including healthcare assistants
  • registered healthcare professionals
  • advanced practice roles for nurses, to fill gaps in the medical workforce
  • the new physician associate role. 

The study also highlights key considerations including time, capacity and the need for careful role redesign. It has been informed by case studies, interviews, a survey of local Health Education England leaders and a literature review.

Daniel Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers said, "As the voice of workforce leaders in the NHS, NHS Employers commissioned the Nuffield Trust to have a thorough look at where we are in terms of workforce development drawing on the already strong practice across the NHS. I am delighted with the final report which explores where we can further develop our workforce to get the greatest benefit for patients and clients. Our challenge now is to take forward the learning and recommendations in the report."