Headlines: November 21st, 2001

The NHS has created new groups of experts to help achieve the recruitment targets set out in the ten year NHS plan. Some 20,000 more nurses and 10,000 more doctors are needed by 2005 as well as a range of other health professionals.A National Workforce Development Board has been set up to take a strategic view of the training of health professionals. Local Workforce Development Confederations bring together groups of NHS Trusts, universities and colleges to co-ordinate healthcare training provision within each local area. The new National Board will draw on information about what is happening at the local level and provide advice on how training should develop to support recruitment and retention of staff. The Board will also look at particular conditions, such as cancer and coronary heart disease, to determine how the workforce can be developed to combat them.A Workforce Numbers Advisory Board has been created to maintain an overview of workforce planning. The National Health Service is the largest single employer within the country with over 70 professions. In England alone, the NHS employs about a million people, which is 5% of the working population.Care group workforce teams have also been set up to advise on personnel issues related to primary care.