Summary of We are the NHS: people plan 2020/21 – action for us all

Sarah Day

31 July 2020


We are the NHS: people plan 2020/21 – action for us all builds on the Interim people plan published in June 2019. It recognises the progress already made on the objectives in the interim plan and acknowledges the acceleration due to Covid-19. In the absence of a comprehensive spending review from the government, the people plan is unable to set out a full five-year strategy as intended. Instead, the people plan takes the opportunity to consider the learning from the pandemic and consolidate good practice as the NHS develops new ways of working.

Covid-19 has created new challenges for the NHS workforce; the people plan sets out a number of these and highlights the opportunities that these present.

The wellbeing of NHS staff has come to the forefront during the pandemic, with organisations providing increased psychological support for their workforce. The people plan states that flexible and remote working have also had a positive impact on work-life balance for many, with an increase in productivity due to better attendance at virtual meetings and less time spent travelling.

Rapid digital transformation has also changed the way that staff interact with patients with video consultations now being widely used. In addition, many clinicians have returned to the NHS and the people plan considers how this can be built upon.

The people plan states that the simplification of governance processes has empowered staff to make decisions and implement changes. System working and local partnerships have also improved. However, the pandemic has also highlighted existing inequalities and the people plan looks at how this can be addressed.

There have been dramatic changes across the NHS and the people plan recognises that not all changes will have been beneficial, but there is learning to take from all of them.

This briefing summarises the main points. However, the people plan is an interactive document with links to several case studies and should be consulted for further detail.


Summary of We are the NHS: people plan 2020/21 – action for us all

July 2020 (PDF 321KB)

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