While we are in a period of challenging industrial relations in the NHS, partners on the national SPF believe that a continuation of social partnership working remains important. The national SPF will continue to have a role in shaping non-pay policy that impacts the workforce. Our objective remains to develop better policy and enable it to be implemented effectively. Employers and trade unions on the national forum will maintain their constructive dialogue with the DHSC, NHS England and HEE on priority areas such as staff experience and welfare, and longer-term workforce planning.
Dialogue is important and therefore we encourage employers and trade unions to continue to have conversations at a regional, system, and organisational level to identify ways to address the many issues affecting staff and the NHS.
Separate from that, and within the legal context and appropriate deadlines, partners should work together on industrial action contingency planning, while ensuring these conversations do not undermine the legal rights of partners or individual union members.
Thank you for your tireless efforts. We hope you continue to be able to adopt a strong and effective partnership approach, as we know from our long history of working together in partnership, that this will help you through whatever challenges you face.