A nurse has been appointed to help lead on the delivery of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan nationally, it has been announced.
Professor Mark Radford takes on the role for NHS England as work starts on implementing the plan following its publication in June 2023.
“It does give us a huge opportunity to address some of the long, historical challenges we have had in relation to workforce across the NHS”
Speaking today at a nursing conference, Professor Radford said: “My new role, in the next few weeks, will be taking on the leadership of the next stage of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan delivery for NHS England.”
Professor Radford will work as part of a team in the NHS England workforce, training and education directorate focused on delivering the plan.
For now, he will also retain his other roles of national director for intensive support and deputy chief nursing officer (CNO) at NHS England.
Previously, Professor Radford was the chief nurse at Health Education England, before the organisation was merged into NHS England earlier this year.
His announcement came during a session at the CNO England Summit 2023 about the workforce plan.
During that session, Professor Radford described the numbers in the report in terms of the extra staff that will be needed for the NHS as “biblical in nature”.
He said: “We are really excited about the opportunity around the long term workforce plan.
“It does give us a huge opportunity to address some of the long, historical challenges we have had in relation to workforce across the NHS.”
The plan is aiming to grow the overall NHS workforce from 1.4 million permanent staff in 2021-22 to 2.2-2.3 million by 2036-37 including 170,000-190,000 more nurses.
“It’s a huge number of people being involved in the delivery of our NHS services across all sectors, all branches, all areas,” said Professor Radford.
However, he recognised that achieving these targets would require “significant work”.
Professor Radford also discussed the workfore plan during the virtual Nuring Times Workforce Summit held this week, and it is included in the agenda for the in-person version of the summit, taking place next week on 21 November.