RCR welcomes NHSI's Interim People Plan

Tuesday 4 June 2019

The Royal College of Radiologists has welcomed the broad direction of NHS Improvement’s (NHSI) Interim People Plan for England, while stressing that centralised funding and oversight will be crucial to its success. 

RCR President Dr Nicola Strickland said:

“We welcome the spirit and suggestions of the Interim People Plan, which repeatedly commits to putting comprehensive workforce planning at the heart of NHS operational planning. 

“The report gives a good overview of the complex, multi-faceted influences on NHS staffing, and provides a clear framework for cultural change and improved leadership within the health service, as well as a direction for modernising training and improving retention. 

“It is refreshing to see NHSI spell out the growing staff void that faces the NHS without mitigation – mirroring shortfall calculations that are now depressingly routine forecasts from the RCR and others – as well as the plan’s backing of recruitment and retention solutions that have been repeatedly called for by the sector.

“We are also very pleased to see the interim plan’s focus on the digital future of the NHS, particularly as the development of big data, artificial intelligence, genomics and personalised medicine are fundamental drivers in both clinical imaging and clinical oncology care. 

“However, while the plan does lay down sensible conceptual foundations for the future, actually building a sustainable NHS unequivocally requires national funding for more people and equipment, as well as serious conversations around pensions disincentives. 

“In addition, many of the plan’s key aspirations – such as joined-up working across health teams, flexible working for staff and trainees and myriad digital innovations – are totally dependent upon the introduction of interoperable IT systems and IT networks, which must not be left to local enterprises to navigate alone, without national oversight and accountability.”