Supporting people who work in health and care
This number continues to increase year on year; however, the increasing pressures of work, and ongoing national pay restraint have made it difficult to recruit and retain enough staff to meet people’s health care needs. This has an impact on all staff across all sectors, including the NHS and social care, including those working in care homes and home care.
Health and social care is evolving to meet the needs of our communities, changing the way that healthcare is delivered requires a reshaping of the health and care workforce.
New individual and team functions are emerging with an increased role for lead professionals working alongside family, carers and unpaid volunteers. There is a greater role for staff working outside of hospitals, where most health and social care takes place.
We want West Yorkshire and Harrogate to be a great place to work.
Our intention is to ensure that our staff base is representative of the people we serve, this will include individuals from minority groups in prominent leadership roles. The Interim People Plan (June 2019), which Julian Hartley, CEO for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Rob Webster, our Partnership CEO Lead were involved in, emphasised the need to promote positive cultures, build a pipeline of compassionate and engaging leaders and make the NHS an agile, inclusive and modern employer. This is especially important if we are to attract and retain our workforce.
We are developing a system wide workforce plan that is inclusive of all staff from health and social care not simply the traditional NHS workforce. This will outline how future demand can be achieved via various means such as increasing supply, retention strategies, upskilling the current workforce, supporting new models of care, international recruitment and new role development. This will be available early in 2020.
Volunteer, carer, and community sector engagement is critical. There is a need for a shared understanding of their hugely important role across the Partnership so we can support, develop and promote the work that they do. This will be done in partnership with our priority programmes, including supporting unpaid carers and community organisations.
In order to succeed we need to plan the future health and social care workforce together rather than simply considering individual organisation demands, this will offer potential efficiencies in situations where staff can be ‘shared’. It will also enable funding to be distributed accordingly and future investment planned on a system wide level.
As well as the six local places taking greater ownership for developing their workforce, there is a need for our priority programmes to collectively identify and work with partners, such as the Local Workforce Action Board and Health Education England, to develop solutions that will allow our system to develop and thrive. Primary care, maternity and mental health all have workforce groups taking forward specific challenges. They are working across the Partnership to develop solutions. The intention is for our other priority programmes to follow suit.
In April 2018 we published our workforce strategy ‘A healthy place to live, a great place to work’. It identified strategic workforce priorities around increasing supply; maximising the contribution of the current workforce; improving productivity; transforming teamwork; making it easier for people to work in differing places and different organisations. It also includes growing the general practice and community workforce to enable to ‘left shift’ where people are cared for in the community as opposed to hospital settings wherever possible.
We are aligning our priorities to the recently published NHS Interim People Plan, whilst keeping in view all the Partnership workforce challenges. Our six local places are already making great progress against the NHS Interim People Plan and the Local Workforce Action Board will be taking forward system wide priorities addressing those “wicked issues.”
The ‘left shift’ is about removing the need for avoidable clinical care to take place in hospitals, because more appropriate and more timely support is being provided in communities. It is about providing better health and wellbeing, better quality of care and more sustainable services because we have planned in advance, invested in prevention and targeted early intervention.