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The NAPC has today welcomed the proposals outlined in the NHS Long-term Workforce Plan published by NHS England.  

This much anticipated plan describes solutions to some of the workforce and wider system challenges that have impacted the delivery of high-quality care and support across primary, community and secondary care for some time.  

The NAPC has been supporting teams of clinicians and managers across the country to deliver care in new and creative ways, activating patients and bringing joy back to the workplace. Dr Caroline Taylor, Chair of NAPC said, “We recognise the need and value of empowering and investing in local leaders by taking a proactive population health approach, to nurture a common sense of purpose and encourage innovation. Our national CARE programme demonstrates the positive impacts of this in terms of workforce retention and improvements in patients’ health and wellbeing; leading to reduced demand for services and savings across the system.” For more information email 

Our commitment to a population health approach to transformational change demonstrates how we have focused on empowering health and care staff to work together efficiently and effectively. With that in mind and as we anticipate and welcome additional roles to the multi-disciplinary teams, it is important to acknowledge that the health and wellbeing needs of the community should inform the range of proactive care and support services available. This in turn determines the professional skill sets, roles, and training needs within the integrated neighbourhood teams.  

Katrina Percy, NAPC Deputy Chief Executive and lead for Neighbourhood Care Development states, “Aligning to the needs of the community and neighbourhood built around a single multi-disciplinary team rather than ineffectively plugging gaps with more siloed teams to tackle specific disease, condition, or access issues. This enables the much-needed shift away from layers of disconnected teams who don’t know each other, to a more joined up approach to prevention and population focused individual needs at all levels.” 

With the 75th birthday of the NHS on the horizon, the NAPC remains committed to championing the importance and emphasis of care being delivered by a range of health and care professionals, through multi-disciplinary, integrated neighbourhood teams and we welcome the commitment to provide new avenues of education and training. Collaborative working across a range of health and care providers locally creates opportunities for portfolio working, which encourages greater professional experience and workforce retention due to increased variety. 

It is encouraging to see the plans to offer patients a greater choice on where and how they access care locally, through a greater role planned for community pharmacies. With the wealth of skill and expertise in community pharmacy teams and the opportunities presented by digital integration between general practice and community pharmacies, the adoption of the neighbourhood care approach will increasingly become a reality. The NAPC President, Prof Ash Soni commented, “It is really pleasing to see the recognition of the community pharmacy workforce within this plan, and it is important to ensure there are enough people trained to meet the objectives within it. This will require investment in pharmacies to become excellent centres of training, as well as investment in an infrastructure that enables everyone to access training coupled with the support to be successfully trained in a timely way. The inclusion of pharmacies and their staff into integrated neighbourhood teams will enable everyone to work together to achieve the best outcomes for the populations they serve.” 

Supporting existing healthcare professionals is vital, especially in times of increased demand. Creating a supportive work environment and focus on workforce wellbeing remains a priority for the NAPC and we have a proven track record of supporting colleagues across the health and care sector through our CARE programme, our coaching offer to healthcare professionals and through collaboration with The One Voice Group to improve wellbeing for our members nationally.  

To support the shift to improve access, experience and outcomes for people, communities and the workforce that serves them, we call on system leaders to focus on all available enablers such as estates, community assets, effective use of local data and digital health technology as an enabler to improve patient care, create system wide solutions and generate efficiencies. This coupled with opportunities for the workforce to be more proactive through investment in their learning and development, creates the right infrastructure to enable system wide transformational change which is focused on proactive, preventative, personalised care and support for patients. 

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