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NHS: Manpower

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what change in the number of NHS staff directly employed in the NHS he expects to result from the decrease in the percentage of NHS revenue spending being spent on the pay of such staff in 2008-09, as set out in table 2.4 on page 24 of his Department’s evidence to the review body on doctors’ and dentists’ remuneration. (163377)

The percentage of national health service revenue spending spent on pay is forecast to increase in 2008-09. This is a national estimate and it is a proportion of the overall growing NHS revenue funding, therefore overall expenditure on NHS staff is expected to increase.

Revenue allocations are made to primary care trusts to provide them with funding to deliver local and national priorities. It is not possible to provide an estimate of the change in number of NHS staff employed, as workforce planning, and therefore setting the number of staff required to deliver services, is a matter for local NHS organisations to deal with. They are best placed to assess the health needs of their local health community and will recruit the appropriate number of staff to meet those needs. The Department sees workforce planning as a priority and closely monitors strategic health authority local delivery plans to ensure they will deliver the activity required within the finance envelope. As part of that approach, the Department also expects SHAs to be satisfied that local workforce plans are sufficiently robust to deliver the planned activity.