The think tank has called for better cross-professional workforce planning and challenged the NHS to strengthen links between financial and workforce planning.
NHS Workforce planning says ‘the NHS may not be able to afford the number of doctors or nurses currently being planned'. It adds that the 'divide between medical and non-medical planning is still to be bridged'.
Staff will have to be ‘considerably more productive' as purse strings tighten while demand grows, say authors Candace Imison, James Buchan and Su Xavier.
The think tank says leadership and management training should get higher priority when the NHS trains its existing workforce. It criticises SHAs for spending less than £150 a year for each member of the 1.3 million NHS workers in England on development and leadership.
Local trusts invest little in workforce development which ‘is often the first cut when finances are stretched', the report says.