In achieving our priority of making the Black Country the best place to work, we have worked with partner organisations to co-produce key strategic documents that articulate our commitment and accountability to enabling our colleagues to have the best experience whilst at work. 

Our strategies are evidence-based, using national health, care, and professional recommendations to develop an action plan that is measurable in tracking our success. 

We aim to report on our progress on an annual basis; sharing our achievements, learning, and future focus. 

Read more about our commitments to improving our colleagues' experiences.

The NHS People Plan was published March 2021, outlining actions that our ICS, organisations, employers and staff will need to take. 

This plan sets out actions to support transformation across the whole NHS. It focuses on how we must all continue to look after each other and foster a culture of inclusion and belonging, as well as action to grow our workforce, train our people, and work together differently to deliver patient care. The principles underpinning this action through 2020/21 must endure beyond that time. 

Our local People Board Strategy 2021-2025 builds on this plan and encompasses a wider reach to develop a “one workforce” model. This is a complex change process against the backdrop of significant challenges (increasing demand; tight resource constraints – notably the workforce; technology and society change). This process will take time and a significant amount of leadership effort. 

How different elements of the plan are implemented will vary across these different settings, but the principles it sets out apply across all organisations, and to all of our people involved in providing or commissioning NHS care.

NHS England will work with non-NHS employers and their representatives too, to agree how they support delivery of these principles in their organisations. Local systems and Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) need to do the same for services they commission. 

ICS have an important role in leading and overseeing progress on this agenda, strengthening collaboration among all health and care partners – particularly with social care – to meet the complex and evolving staffing needs of our services.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan presents a once in a generation opportunity to put staffing on a sustainable footing and improve patient care. In the Black Country, this will help us tackle the covid backlogs and develop our local community by offering NHS career opportunities. 

We will see new roles such as physician associates and nursing associates, and increase the number and proportion of apprenticeships, creating opportunities for people from a range of different backgrounds, and experiences and supporting our aim of becoming a more inclusive employer. 

Shajeda Ahmed, Chief People Officer at NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, talks about the plan, what it means locally and how it can complement our priority to make the Black Country the best place to work.

Find out more about the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, go to 

Our diverse population offers the opportunity to build a workforce that is rich in creativity, innovation, decision making and compassion; sharing approaches from various perspectives. Through our Inclusive Talent Management strategy, we have described how we will grow, nurture, and support our talent across the Black Country to diversify our pipeline of talent and leaders.

Read our Inclusive Talent Management strategy (coming soon).