Health and Care Bill

Hundreds of you joined our campaign in support of an amendment to the Health and Care Bill regarding the NHS workforce - find out how MPs voted.

Last year, the Government introduced the Health and Care Bill, which proposes significant changes to how the NHS is run in England. It builds on the NHS’s own proposals for reform, such as establishing existing Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) on a statutory footing, as well the Government’s own proposals within the Integration and Innovation White Paper

The Bill, as originally published, committed the Government to publish a report every five years which sets out roles and responsibilities in relation to workforce planning. We consider this to be inadequate given the workforce crisis facing mental health services.  

Following successful campaigning by the College and over 100 other organisations, the House of Lords voted in favour of an amendment that would provide clarity about the number of doctors, nurses, and social care staff we need now and in the future. The amendment specifically requires the Secretary of State to report every two years:   

  • an independently verified assessment of health, social care and public health workforce numbers, current at the time of publication, and the projected workforce supply for the following five, ten and 20 years; and  
  • an independently verified assessment of future health, social care and public health workforce numbers based on the projected health and care needs of the population for the following five, ten and 20 years, taking account of the Office for Budget Responsibility's long-term fiscal projections. 

This amendment would help hold the Government to account for training enough doctors and nurses to provide vital care for people across the country. Despite over 350 of our supporters emailing their MP asking them to support it, last night the House of Commons, unfortunately, rejected the amendment.   

Successive governments have failed to take a sufficiently long-term and evidence-based approach to plan for the needs of the health and care workforce. We want this to change. The Bill will now go back to the House of Lords to see whether they want to insist upon the amendment or offer an alternative.

This is a once in a decade opportunity to drive progress on long-standing workforce challenges. We will continue to work with MPs and Peers as the Bill moves through the next stages.  

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