NHS England (NHSE) has published a Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP). The LTWP – based on modelling by NHSE and Health Education England – uses data and assumptions about supply and demand, and other variables, to build a picture of the number of doctors, nurses and other professionals the NHS expects to need in five, ten, and 15 years’ time. NHSE will continue to develop the models, and update them in the future.

We will carry out an independent assessment of the modelling behind the Long Term Workforce Plan, and consider whether NHSE’s current approach to workforce modelling – and the models themselves – are a reasonable basis for regular strategic workforce planning.

Our approach will follow the NAO’s previously published Framework to Review Models.

This will include assessment of:

  • the chosen methodologies for modelling the demand and supply of workforce;
  • the accuracy and robustness of the models;
  • the governance arrangements for the models;
  • the reasonableness, completeness and sensitivity of the assumptions supporting the model and the approach taken to estimate uncertainty.

In conducting this work we will not be assessing the quality, content or likely effectiveness of the LTWP itself. The NAO may decide to review those aspects of the LTWP in the future.

NAO team
Directors: Ruth Kelly, Tim Phillips
Audit Managers: Laura Cole, Paul Wright-Anderson