30 January 2023

Our statement on the new NHS England plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services.

As the challenges in the NHS continue to grow, NHS England have published a plan for urgent and emergency care setting out a number of ambitions including patients being seen more quickly in emergency departments and ambulances getting to patients quicker.

We met with NHS England last week, in anticipation of the plan and stressed the need to focus on community care and the wider workforce and not just the acute sector. We are pleased to see speech and language therapists referenced in the plan, along with other allied health professionals who play a critical role in keeping patients out of hospital and safe in their communities.

We are disappointed that the plan does not recognise the role speech and language therapists play in urgent and emergency care, from preventing admissions to accident and emergency departments to supporting early discharge and patient recovery.

We await with interest the publication of NHS workforce plan, as it is difficult to see how recovery will be achieved without a comprehensive long-term workforce plan to underpin delivery.

We will provide members with further detail on what the urgent and emergency plan means for those working in the NHS shortly. Last week we welcomed the Welsh government’s announcement of an additional £5 million in funding for allied health professionals in Wales.