Securing a sustainable NHS workforce for the future

A major new programme to drive better staff retention in trusts across England has been launched by NHS Improvement (NHSI).

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With recruitment and retention adding to the huge amount of pressure already facing trusts in England, the regulator hopes the project will reduce the rates of people leaving the NHS workforce by 2020.

Led by NHSI, the programme will support trust leads and staff by providing a series of masterclasses for directors of nursing and HR to discuss ways to reduce staff leaving trusts. The organisation will also work alongside NHS Employers and look into how the current national retention programme can be built on and improved.

Specific, targeted support will also be made available for mental health providers to improve retention rates of staff groups, and a tool designed to help trusts understand why staff leave will be rolled out. A series of guidance through webinars will also be implemented to improve retention rates.

Full details via NHS Improvement

Related article: NHSI to tackle staff retention challenges with new programme | National Health Executive

Capital collaborations between the NHS and local authorities

The Chartered Institute of public Finance and Accountability and the Healthcare Financial Management Association have worked together to produce this briefing as an initial output from a joint workshop on capital funding in the NHS.

The briefing provides background on the local authority and NHS funding mechanisms, including the prudential code under which local authority treasury management and borrowing is determined.  It sets out the problems that NHS bodies currently face in relation to capital funding and identifies some opportunities for working together on capital projects.

The rising cost of clinical negligence: who pays?

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The Medical Protection Society estimates that clinical negligence costs in the NHS have increased by 72% over the last five years and that costs could reach £2.6bn a year by 2022.

It argues that there should be reasonable compensation for patients who suffer harm due to clinical negligence but that this must be balanced against society’s ability to pay. The report makes recommendations for legal reforms around clinical negligence compensation.

More detail: Clinical Negligence Costs: Striking a balance

 

 

Framework to help CCGs deliver more personalised health care

NHS England has published a guide for CCGs and local authorities on the use of integrated personalised commissioning and personal health budgets.

These are designed to enable a more personalised approach to people’s health and social care. NHS England has made a commitment to ensure that 300,000 people benefit from personalised health and care through integrated personal commissioning by 2018/19, which includes 40,000 people with a personal health budget.

The guide can be viewed here

Reforming social care

Reform the independent think-tank has published Social care: a prefunded solution.

This paper makes the case for much more fundamental reform: replacing the current ‘pay-as-you-go’ (PAYG) approach to financing later-life care with a prefunded arrangement. Under this proposal, working-age people would contribute a percentage of their income into a Later Life Care Fund (LLCF). These pooled savings would then be managed privately, before being used to fund the care costs of those that contributed.

Key points

  • The cost of long-term care is projected to rise from £19.0 billion today to £30.5 billion in twenty years’ time.
  • The proportion of spending going to people beyond the state pension age is increasing.
  • Due to the ageing population, in the absence of reform, a 26-year old today will pay a third more in tax to fund social care than people born just ten years earlier.
  • An extra payroll tax can be introduced to fund future care liabilities. The funds would be pooled in a government fund with management outsourced to the private sector.
  • A guideline for the magnitude of the extra tax is 2.55 per cent of earnings, or £60 for the median earner.
  • Once contributors retire, their care liabilities will be covered by the fund.
  • Transition to such a funding model would require the current older population to pay more towards their care

Sustainability and Transformation Plans: What, why and where next?

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs): what, why and where next

The NHS is facing one of the most challenging periods in its history, with a funding gap of more than £22 billion over the coming years. And the pressure on the social care system is more acute than ever, with many councils raising eligibility thresholds and making cuts to social care budgets.

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Image source: http://www.ippr.org

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) – which are local health and care reform plans, authored jointly by NHS and local government leaders to improve outcomes and drive greater efficiency in their local area – are one of the government’s main responses to this problem. These plans rightly focus on decentralising power within the NHS, investing in leadership and relationships to drive improvements, and on local health and care organisations coming together to overcome the silos created by the 2012 Health and Care Act.

This report looks at the most promising reform solutions that have been identified by STPs, and also sets out the range of challenges that stand in the way of them realising their vision for improved health and efficiency.

Download summary here or full report here

 

STPs will need a change in law to succeed, says report

A report from London Southbank University argues that in order to deliver a better future for the NHS, all 44 STPs would need to be given legislative powers and support necessary to achieve effective collaboration, plus some much-needed clarification on their role | NHS England

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Image source: LSBU

We commissioned this report as a reality check on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan process as a whole; to provide an opportunity for review; and to reconvene around the issues that need a sub-regional approach.

This report is a significant contribution to the myths and realities of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans and the process of their development. By starting from the actual situation in each STP footprint, this report grounds the plans in the reality of the local context, and provides a firm basis for any collective decision-making. Many of the STPs (the documents) are not clear about the full extent of the current situation (the baseline from which they are making their plans), which makes the collective STP leadership task extremely difficult.