England’s health and care sector is in a deep workforce crisis.

This is not because we have less staff overall. Rather, it’s because of a growing and sustained mismatch between worker-demand and worker-supply.

A vicious cycle emerged during austerity and worsened through the pandemic. Without transformational productivity gains, this mismatch between activity and demand means greater workload and pressure on each individual health and care worker.

We need a long-term vision for the future. In creating that vision, there are few better sources than workers themselves. In 2021/22, IPPR recruited a workforce assembly – across the NHS, social care, and unpaid care – to define a new vision for health and care work. Through assembly deliberations and further research, we have developed these principles into a 10-point policy plan for the future.