Our health and care five year plan made  a commitment to develop a system wide  workforce plan by early 2020 that is inclusive of all staff from health and social care; to  set out how future demand can be achieved via various means such as increasing supply, retention strategies and upskilling the current workforce, supporting new models of care, international recruitment and new role development. It builds on the 2018 workforce strategy ‘A Healthy Place to Live, a Great Place to Work’

The COVID-19 global pandemic has not only impacted on our ability to deliver a system wide plan in this timeframe, but has also raised a new set of workforce challenges which we now need to build into our workforce strategies and priorities in the short, medium and long term. 

Health and care five-year plan
A healthy place to live, a great place to work (workforce strategy)

In addition, the NHS People Plan was published by NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) in July 2020 and a further refreshed document was issued in March 2021 which sets out the following four pillars:


The four pillars are: Looking after our people; Belonging; New ways of working to deliver care; and Grow for the future.

Photo of a young boy receiving treatment from a nurseWhilst the NHS People Plan has set a framework to influence our West Yorkshire People Plan, for our ‘one workforce’ this has also been informed through other important publications such as the Future-Ready Skills Commission, supported by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the Skills for Care strategy and the recent Vision for a future workforce strategy published by national Social Care Leaders.

These plans actively inform our People Plan to ensure it provides the co-ordinated commitment to develop an integrated ‘one workforce’ across West Yorkshire for health and care.

Future-Ready Skills Commission
Read the vision for future workforce strategy here

Our People Plan has embraced widespread engagement of partners across West Yorkshire in an on-going dialogue, which will continue as this plan is a live approach that develops each day.

The West Yorkshire People Plan recognises the diverse nature of our Partnership and its people, and represents the full range of health and care sectors; including universities, those working in Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector and unpaid carers.


‘A healthy place to live, a great place to work’ 2018 strategy

High level objectives

  • Develop employment models which enable cross boundary and cross sector working
  • Recruit and retain staff in the right numbers and the right place
  • Ensure investment in training and skills development of existing staff
  • To plan demand and supply of health and care roles, including new roles.

Progress since 2018 includes:

Employment Models

  • Rotational paramedics across Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Primary Care

  • Rotational trainee nurse associates

Recruitment and retention

  • Growth in many areas highlighted in 2018

  • 1,400 apprenticeships

  • Collaborative approach to international recruitment across the health and care system

  • Local maternity system approach to recruitment

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub and Enhanced Occupational Health pilots

New Roles

  • Trainee nursing associate -309 Staff in post 2021 (circa 455 learners on programmes)

  • Physician associate – 94 Staff in post 2021 (circa 90 learners on programmes)

  • Advanced clinical practitioner (circa 480 trainees)


  • More than £1.5m workforce development funding for cross systemworkforce development

Workforce Planning

  • West Yorkshire Health and Care Workforce Observatory in development
    with Yorkshire Universities