Early in 2019, the Health Foundation, in collaboration with The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust, published Closing the gap1 – a joint report on the NHS workforce, in the context of the 10-year plan for the NHS. The joint report argued that staffing was “the make-or-break issue for the NHS in England”. It pointed out that shortages are already having a direct impact on patient care and staff experience and, without significant funding and policy action, the staff shortfall was likely to become more pronounced, notably in nursing and primary care.
The report highlighted nursing and general practice as two critical areas and made a series of recommendations, including using the skills of other staff much more widely in general practice, a ‘radical expansion of nurse training’, and an increase in international recruitment. The report was followed by the publication of another influential report in late 2019, by the Health Foundation, Fal