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Workforce review panel to look at staffing and skill mix in Wales

A workforce review group in Wales has been set up following Nuffield Trust report identifying a potential £2.5 billion funding gap by 2025/26

A workforce review group will consider the staffing and skill mix needed in Wales to provide more care in the community, Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford has said. 

In a written statement to Welsh assembly members, Mr Drakeford set out the panel’s forthcoming work, which is a response to a Nuffield Trust report last year highlighting the scale of the financial challenge in the Welsh health service. 

The report – A Decade of Austerity in Wales? – said the country could face an annual health funding gap of £2.5 billion by 2025/26.

The review panel, to be chaired by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board chair David Jenkins, will also look at ‘the long-term strategic direction for pay and reward’ for Agenda for Change staff and those in senior and executive posts. 

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said the panel will consider the skill mix in the country and how nurses should be remunerated when they provide skills above their current pay bands, such as practice nurses who take on greater responsibilities.

She added: 'If the minister comes back after the review and says we cannot afford this and will negotiate separate pay deals to make this work in Wales, he will have to listen to what RCN Wales have said right from the start, which is that we won’t deviate from nationally negotiated pay deals.' 

The other panel members are University of South Wales professor of transport Stuart Cole; Clare Gerada, a partner in the Hurley Group which runs GP practices in London; and Swansea Centre for Health Economics chair Ceri Phillips.  

Additional members may be appointed to the panel and it is expected to complete its work within 12 months.

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