Health Committee

27 January 2006
Session 2005-06 New Inquiry - Workforce needs and planning for the health service

27 January 2006
Session 2005-06 New Inquiry - Workforce needs and planning for the health service

Terms of reference

The Health Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into Workforce needs and planning for the health service with the following terms of reference.

How effectively workforce planning, including clinical and managerial staff, has been undertaken, and how it should be done in the future.

In considering future demand, how should the effects of the following be taken into account:

€ recent policy announcements, including Commissioning a patient-led NHS
€ technological change
€ an ageing population
€ the increasing use of private providers of services

How will the ability to meet demands be affected by:

€ financial constraints
€ the European Working Time Directive
€ increasing international competition for staff
€ early retirement

To what extent can and should the demand be met, for both clinical and managerial staff, by:

€ changing the roles and improving the skills of existing staff
€ better retention
€ the recruitment of new staff in England
€ international recruitment

How should planning be undertaken:

€ To what extent should it centralised or decentralised?
€ How is flexibility to be ensured?
€ What examples of good practice can be found in England and elsewhere?

Organisations and individuals wishing to submit a short memorandum are invited to do so no later than Wednesday 15 March 2006. Memoranda need not address all of the issues outlined above.

The Committee requests that evidence should be concise and in the form of a self-contained memorandum, prepared according to the terms of reference given above and preferably submitted electronically to healthcommem@parliament.uk . Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference.

Attention is drawn to the guidance on the submission of evidence which can be found at www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm . Late memoranda will only be accepted at the Committee's discretion, and may not be considered for publication.

Evidence sessions are likely to commence in April and a later press notice will give details of these.
Please note that the Health Committee is unable to investigate individual cases.

The Health Committee is a Select Committee of the House of Commons.  It is appointed under Standing Order No.152 to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department of Health and associated public bodies.  The Committee has the power to send for persons, papers and records.