Posted: June 14th 2019


Interim NHS people plan by Baroness Harding

The interim NHS people plan by Baroness Harding has just been published. We are currently considering the rural issues relating to this plan. Read a copy here.

APPG Rural Health and Social Care, Workforce challenges & opportunities

The all party parliamentary which is undertaking the inquiry into rural health and social care ran a session to look at workforce issues, at which the following questions were considered:

What are the challenges recruiting in social care including nursing care and domiciliary care? How could they be addressed for rural areas?

How could recruitment of hospital doctors and of GPs be improved? What is wrong with the system?

Does practice experience in rural areas indicate training programmes in the royal colleges need to change to include rural experience and a more generalist training?

What could and should be the role of the many new associate professions?

Does structure, budgets and reporting lines get in the way?

Should nurses be commonly recruited to work across both health and social care?

The session was chaired by Anne Marie Morris MP and The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London. Other witnesses who gave evidence were Dr Ruth May (Chief Nursing Officer for England), Susan Aitkenhead (Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for Policy & System Transformation), Denise Thiruchelvam (Director of Nursing & Quality in Surrey, Representing the Royal College of Nursing), Dr Krishna Kasaraneni (member of the General Practitioners Committee and Chair of the Education, Training and Workforce Subcommittee, British Medical Association), Professor Stephen Singleton (Director, Cumbria Learning & Improvement Collaborative), Sheila Childerhouse (Chair, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust), Cllr Andrew Leadbetter (Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health Services, Devon County Council), Stephen Chandler (Director for Adult Social Services, Lead Commissioner for Adults & Health, Somerset County Council). Notes will be published on the parliamentary inquiry section in future.

We recognise that recruitment and retention are key issues which challenge the delivery of health and care services in rural areas.

The national centre had just begun a piece of work in partnership with the Business School at the University of Birmingham, inspired by the NHS Workforce Consultation – looking at the rural context for the 5 key themes underlying the workforce challenges facing the NHS. 

  1. Attracting and recruiting into the workforce
  2. Improving retention
  3. How to improve professional development
  4. The role of regulation
  5. Ensuring effective workforce planning

This will involve a detailed international literature review, rural workforce and demography projections, focus group and practitioner interviews. It will lead to the practical development of a toolkit setting out examples of good practice which can be rolled out and replicated in rural settings across England and wider. 

The centre is currently working with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services to support the development of a workforce perspective on the challenges facing the provision of adult social care in rural settings and is in liaison with the APPG on Rural Health and Social Care on a wider enquiry into rural health and care.

Related Pages

Rural Workforce issues in Health and Care

Rural Workforce Issues in Health and Care- the report

Read More


History of the National Centre for Rural Health and Care

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