FICM response to NHS Long Term Workforce Plan

Published 11/07/2023

The Faculty recognises the potential in the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan (LTWP). The unprecedented nature of its proposed duration and ambitious strategy for development of a healthcare workforce able to meet the future projected healthcare challenges of an ageing population is an important first step.

The LTWP themes of training, staff retention and reform are important for longer term growth, and are areas the Faculty has already been developing for the ICM workforce in projects like our Critical Staffing series. The most precious NHS resource is its workforce, and we welcome the initial commitment of £2.4 billion over 5 years to enable that work towards sustainability.  We also welcome the iterative nature of the plan and the clearly signalled intention to review progress and goals every 2 years.

This iterative approach to development and review must include in the next phase, information on the detail of delivery with significant involvement of the medical specialties and professional groups required to help deliver it. Greater detail on the planned expansion of specialist training posts is required, and ICM training must be a key part of this expansion. Educator and training capacity is a key requirement to support the necessary expansion of ICM doctors, ACCPs, pharmacists and other professional groups we have highlighted in Critical Condition and our Critical Futures work. Development of the future workforce comes in large part from the efforts of the existing workforce, who require clarity on their roles in this plan. The ICM workforce was already in need of expansion before COVID-19; having gone ‘over and above’ during the pandemic, that workforce is subject to significant concerns over retention and seeks certainty that they are to be adequately supported in the delivery of this plan.

ICM is a medical specialty integral to delivery of emergency and elective services across perioperative care, treatment and management of chronic health conditions and advances in medical therapies. In order to deliver the future ambitions of the LTWP, we consider that development of immediate realistic goals is a necessary first step and best achieved in a sustainable fashion with involvement of the professions and specialties who are integral to patient care.


Dr Daniele Bryden
Dean, FICM

Dr Jack Parry-Jones
Vice Dean, FICM

Dr Matt Williams
Chair, FICM Careers, Workforce & Recruitment Committee