We are the NHS: action for us all sets out what our NHS people can expect from their leaders and each other. It focuses on how we must look after each other and foster a compassionate and inclusive culture, as well as action to grow and train our workforce, and to work together differently to deliver patient care. It includes actions for 2020/21, and principles to endure beyond this time.
NHS England, NHS Improvement and Health Education England published the Interim People Plan in June 2019. Its central themes – more people, working differently, in a compassionate and inclusive culture – are even more important now than they were then.
The pandemic has created real difficulties, laying bare how our NHS people’s lives can be deeply personally and professionally challenging. It has further revealed inequalities, shining a spotlight on the urgent need to address the safety and experience of our colleagues from ethnic minorities.
We have also learned so much from this experience. The courage, flexibility, innovation and collaboration of our people has already transformed the NHS faster than we could have imagined. Everyone who works in the NHS has felt public appreciation like never before and can take extraordinary pride and fulfilment in the contribution they make. We must not ‘roll back’ on our support to our NHS staff as we look ahead to the rest of 2020/21.
We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/21
This plan aims to make real and lasting change, building on the creativity and drive shown by our NHS people in their response to the pandemic. It is practical and ambitious, setting out the focused action that NHS people have told us they need right now, and for the rest of the financial year. It includes specific commitments around:
Published alongside the People Plan, Our NHS People Promise challenges us all to make the NHS a better place to work. Its themes and words come from colleagues who work in the NHS, who told us what would improve their working experience. Colleagues, line managers, employers and central bodies must work together to make these ambitions a reality for everyone over the coming years.
What’s coming next?
The publication of this plan is part of a conversation that began with the interim NHS People Plan. We are providing further health and wellbeing resources for all NHS organisations. We are also setting out the leadership values and behaviours we all want to see and experience, particularly around equality, diversity and inclusion, in a new Leadership Compact.
Further action for 2021/22 and beyond is expected to be set out later in the year, once funding arrangements for future years have been confirmed by the government. The arrival of COVID-19 acted as a springboard, bringing about an incredible scale and pace of transformation, and highlighting the enormous contribution of all our NHS people. The NHS must build on this momentum and continue to transform – keeping people at the heart of all we do.