NHS Long Term Workforce Plan: what about social workers?

Following the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, industry leaders have criticised the omission of the social work profession. 

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) England expressed disappointment regarding the exclusion, emphasising that social workers play a vital role in the healthcare system. Think Ahead, the fast-track training provider for mental health practitioners, agreed with this sentiment on Twitter

The much-anticipated strategy outlines specific training targets for 36 different roles, aimed at expanding the workforce to address the existing 112,000 NHS job vacancies and cater to the needs of an aging population.

In addition to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists, the roles include occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, psychologists, child and adolescent psychotherapists, and peer support workers.

In the mental health sector, where a majority of NHS social workers are employed, the plan proposes increasing the number of other roles, such as mental health and wellbeing practitioners, who specialise in assisting individuals with severe illnesses.

“It is with deep disappointment that, despite extensive engagement, we note the glaring omission of any mention of social work in the NHS Long Term Plan which constitutes the final report,” said BASW England.

“This omission perpetuates the disheartening sense that social work is simply not considered when it comes to discussions and planning in health and social care services. 

“As a crucial component of the healthcare system, social work should be recognised and valued for the significant contributions it makes towards holistic patient care and the overall well-being of individuals and communities.”

Here at Social Personnel, we support all social work professionals and hope to see better representation and inclusion of social workers in future discussions and planning in the health sector. 

If you’re looking for a new social care role? Give the team a call on 0203 8929 340 and we’ll help find a job that meets your bespoke requirements.

carlette Isaac

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