NHS People Plan: Make your voice heard

What’s going on?

The Interim NHS People Plan was released on 3 June.

It follows on from the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) which was published at the start of 2019.

Many of the proposals in the interim People Plan will rely on allocation of funds, either from existing budgets or from additional money provided by the Government, so a “full, costed” version of the NHS People Plan will be published by the end of 2019, after the Chancellor has confirmed the money available in the Spending Review.  The Plan is set out in five broad themes:

  • Making the NHS the best place to work.
  • Improving leadership and culture
  • Tackling the nursing challenge
  • Delivering 21st century care
  • A new operating model for workforce

You can read more about each theme in the main document and read a summary here.

What does this mean for me?

If the People Plan is properly funded and implemented, it should be easier for the NHS to recruit, retain and develop staff.

The Plan covers a five year period, but it identifies the actions that the NHS will take over the next year. One of these actions is for employers like yours to talk to staff to find out what more they can do to improve the experience of being at work.

As part of this ‘Best place to work’ theme, you will have the chance to reflect on your experiences and share your thoughts and views about actions to improve work for you and your colleagues.  You might also be asked to take part in specific activities organised by your union or your employer.

See the ‘Make your voice heard’ section below for more information on this theme.

What does UNISON think?

UNISON – along with other unions – has been calling for a focus on staff and workforce issues for many years, so has welcomed the Plan as a step forward.

However, we have urged the Government to allocate proper funding to make the Plan a reality, in particular to direct specific resources to improve and spread apprenticeship routes into NHS careers.  UNISON and other trade unions submitted suggestions about what the Plan should cover.

Make your voice heard

As part of the Best Place to Work theme, the NHS will be asking staff how to improve the experience of work in a series of engagement activities. Some of these activities will start this summer.

As the UK’s biggest trade union we want to make sure the voice of the whole NHS team is heard.

Because making the NHS the best place to work is not only good for you and your colleagues – but good for patients and their families too.

So please get involved in the conversation where you work.

Find out how your employer plans to talk to you and your colleagues about what changes you would like to see.

Ask your branch how the union will be involved in any activities around the Best Place to Work programme in your trust – you can contact your branch directly, or look out for reps visiting your workplace.

Think about some of the things that would change things for the better for you and your team.  Here are some of the themes that regularly come up at union meetings and in exit interviews:

  • Free/fair car parking
  • Better access to training and development and time off for learning opportunities
  • Enough time to hand over before the end of a shift so I can leave on time
  • Proper banding of my job
  • Support to apply for promotion
  • Training for my line managers and enough time for them to help me
  • More job sharing, flexible working and better choice of shifts
  • Taking holidays when I want them and at shorter notice
  • Making sure that my experience of work is not worse if I am Black
  • Healthy food available for night staff
  • Having more stability in my team – fewer leavers, less reliance on agency staff
  • More support when I am not well

Together, in UNISON, we can help make the NHS the best place to work for everyone because you and everyone in the NHS team deserve the best.

Resources for branches

If your employer is talking to members about what matters in your workplace, UNISON branches have an important role to play.

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Resources