NHS England released a Long Term Workforce Plan on June 30, which outlined a 15-year overview to address the shortfall in clinical staff across the UK. Key strategies focused on training more staff, retaining the workforce and reforming how services are delivered by increasing technological use and coordinating more multidisciplinary teams.
The NHS reported it will face a workforce gap of more than 260,000-360,000 staff by 2036/37 without immediate action and, therefore, has announced plans to increase medical school places from the current 7,500 places per year to 15,000 places by 2031.
In regard to the eye care workforce, it said: ‘Primary eye care providers have the knowledge and skills required to deliver more eye care services in the community. Working closely with secondary care specialists and using technological innovation, such as digitally enabled image sharing, to deliver more eye care services on the high street could help alleviate pressure in general practice and hospital eye services and improve patient outcomes.’