NHS reforms

10.12.19

NHS Providers releases new briefing to overcome workforce challenges

NHS Providers has today (Dec 10) released a bold new briefing on how trusts and system partners can meet local population needs and overcome workforce challenges.

According to the NHS Providers’ briefing, making the move to integrated care and collaboration between health and care organisations can help the sector beat severe workforce challenges.

Recruitment into the NHS is a big issue, with over 100,000 vacancies and more in primary care, local systems need to change their approach on attracting and retaining people wanting to work in the health and care sector.

The report A place to work: System approaches to workforce challenges in the NHS, gives real examples of situations when trusts have worked together to develop joined-up workforce solutions. To meet rising demand on the industry, the report also illustrates the best way to tackle challenges in recruitment and retention.

The report also highlights the need for system transformation to support the workforce and address the skills gaps.

The suggested collaboration between trusts and system partners aims to:

  • Streamline patient journeys by using workforce initiatives to drive integration
  • Address specific needs of local populations across health and care organisations
  • Attract staff into the NHS by offering varied and flexible careers
  • Make it easier for staff to move between organisations through rotation agreements, aligning terms and conditions and ‘passporting’
  • Connect staff banks to make better use of workforce capacity in a system and reduce agency spending
  • Join up staff training opportunities through apprenticeships and progress skills for a ‘place-based’ approach to care.
  • Enable staff to develop a sense of belonging to a place or system, helping to break down organisational siloes.

 

It comes following interviews with trusts, STPs and ICSs and local authorities, and leaders agreed that strong, local working relationships and common goals are vital to successful collaboration and workforce planning.

The director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin, said:

“These case studies reflect the innovative and bold approaches being taken by trusts and their system partners to overcome a range of workforce challenges and plan for the needs of their local populations.

“We know that attracting and retaining sufficient staff to effectively run services is the number one concern for trust leaders, and these concerns are shared across the health and care sector. Trusts are working with their system partners in innovative ways to tackle shared challenges and work towards shared goals.

“Not only do these approaches offer new opportunities to attract and train the multi-skilled workforce we need, they also provide incentives for staff to continue to work for their local system or place.

“It is clear that when collaborative working is supported by strong relationships it provides opportunities to work collectively to tackle workforce challenges. But each system is at a different place in its journey. We must continue to support all systems in their development to overcome the challenges they face and meet the needs of their populations.”

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