WHO calls for more 'home-grown' healthcare staff

Draft global health workforce strategy suggests most staff should train where they will work

The majority of nurses should be trained in the countries where they will work, according to a draft global healthcare strategy from the World Health Organization. 

Targets for member states have been set out in the strategy by Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA), part of the World Health Organization (WHO). They include halving the disparity in health worker distribution between urban and rural areas, increasing spending on human resources, ensuring 90% of all workers are home grown and using new technology to share staff data between relevant organisations. Consultation will continue until September 13.

In its response to the draft report, the RCN welcomed the aim of recruiting and training the majority of UK nurses from within the UK.

However, the college said: ‘Self-sufficiency in workforce numbers has been a long-standing priority, but successive government policies including reductions in the number of new student placements for nurses from 2010 to 2013, lack of investment in retention strategies, as well as a dilution of the skills mix of the established nursing workforce means that the UK remains heavily dependent on the international recruitment of nurses.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘We take the issue of recruitment seriously – we have already committed to growing the nurse workforce by more than 23,000 over the next four years.’

The spokesperson added that Health Education England (HEE) is training more clinical staff, with an increase of 14% over the past two years, and £5 million is being invested in the next three years in its Come Back to Nursing campaign, launched in September last year.

A final version of the workforce report will be presented to WHO’s executive board in January.

To read the draft report, click here

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.