The NHS Workforce Review Team is committed to moving forward the national agenda on workforce strategy and planning.  A growing concern within the NHS has been how to introduce greater academic rigour to workforce planning and research carried out around the healthcare workforce in the UK. 

In April 2009, WRT led a seminar of leading academics in the UK to:

  • Draw together a largely disparate group that share an interest in workforce planning (predominantly within health and social care, but not exclusively)
  • Raise the profile of strategic workforce issues, increase scientific knowledge and identify solutions
  • Share knowledge and best practice around strategic workforce planning and research
  • Discuss how to progress a more joined-up approach among interested academics to current and future work and research

Response was overwhelmingly positive: the event was over-subscribed and WRT received many messages of support from those who were unable to attend.

The aim of the seminar was to set up a community of interest around the growing discipline of workforce planning and to provide a forum to facilitate knowledge mobilisation and utilisation across sector, institutional and geographical boundaries. 

It is hoped that such a forum will be able to influence the research agenda around workforce planning, strategy and education and foster better research in the future.

Attendees at the seminar were in favour of setting up a flexible membership group with an eclectic work programme, running seminars on nominated topics for interested parties.  Further discussion resulted in the proposal to register with the Health Services Research Network (HSRN) as a Special Interest Group.

WRT submitted an application to the HSRN in partnership with the Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Manchester, which promotes high quality research in the health sciences and encourages the output of research into practice in the NHS.

The application submitted to the HSRN was successful and WRT is now putting together a work programme for the group with academic colleagues, and we are looking for suggestions and ideas. 

If you would like to put forward a topic for discussion or join the circulation list for the group, please contact us at

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