BIOS have joined with other clinical professional bodies to voice their support for the direction of travel signalled in the NHS England Long Term Plan and Interim People Plan.

In particular, the signatories welcomed the emphasis on multi-disciplinary working and wider training opportunities for professional development within the NHS and have put forward a set of principles that we believe should be encompassed in the Final people Plan.

  1. Ensuring a holistic view of patient care is put centre stage through provision of continuity of care and cross-organisational multi-professional team working.
  2. Increased numbers of staff in all disciplines are welcome and essential but this alone is insufficient to solve the current workforce crisis.
  3. Diversification and expansion of roles is essential for the delivery of 21st century care and should be actively pursued alongside increasing the supply of traditional roles. Expansion must be dependent upon the highest standards of professional education and training. There needs to be a culture change in the way people think about existing roles to ensure that new roles are used most effectively and that the right person is used to deliver appropriate care. This requires mutual respect and collaboration and recognition of professional identity without professional protectionism.
  4. There must be provision of adequate career progression to make work rewarding for the individual and aid retention of staff and to ensure that professions remain an attractive career choice in the long term.
  5. There should be absolute transparency to the public about the new roles and how they will contribute positively to their care.
  6. Provision of adequate, transparent CPD for all staff providing NHS services is essential, and increased funding is required in the Spending Review for Health Education England to support CPD budgets. This has to be accompanied by the provision by employers of appropriate opportunities and remuneration for staff to put new skills into practice in accordance with the needs of the service.
  7. Apprenticeships may play an important role in addressing some workforce issues in the medium and long term but the NHS has not yet made the most of the opportunities, in part because the arrangements do not seem sufficiently flexible to suit NHS processes.
  8. Clarity is required on what is meant by multi-professional credentialing, and a collaborative approach to how this will be implemented and regulated.

If you are interested in finding out more:

  • You can read the full Interim NHS People Plan here.

  • You can read the full NHS Long Term Plan here.

  • The OCCCF Curriculum can be downloaded here.

  • Read BIOS’s position on Advanced and Extended roles here.

  • More information about the advanced and extended roles taken on by orthoptists is available on our CAG pages.

Read the full statement here.