NHS Workforce Statistics November 2017, Provisional Statistics

NHS Digital | NHS Workforce Statistics November 2017, Provisional Statistics

The latest NHS Workforce Statistics have been published. The data is available as headcount and full-time equivalents (FTE) for NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) staff groups working in Trusts and CCGs in England; it excludes primary care staff.

business-2089530_1920Key Facts

In November 2017:

  • The headcount was  a little over 1.2 million  in November 2017. This is 2,268 (0.2 per cent) more than the previous month (1,200,538) and a 1.6 per cent more than in November 2016.
  • The FTE total was 1,061,902 in November 2017. This is 1,917 (0.2 per cent) more than the previous month (1,059,985) and 17,427 (1.7 per cent) more than in November 2016 (1,044,475).
  • Professionally qualified staff make up over half (54.2 per cent) of the HCHS workforce (based on FTE).

The data can be read here 

More details and further resources are available at NHS Digital 


Delayed Transfers of Care

This publication from December 2017 covers the issue of Delayed Transfers of Care.  Done properly, not only are health and personal outcomes improved, but net savings for the system may also be generated. | Better Care Support Programme

Preventing delays to patients being transferred from hospital settings is achievable. Patients waiting in hospital beds for discharge to an appropriate setting is a symptom of systems not working – and can be tackled rather than accepted.

Image source: basw.co.uk

The challenge set for this piece of work was to ‘do something different’. So a new approach was designed by Newton and three areas in the North of England, resourced by regional Better Care Fund support monies.

The project team took a meticulous approach to gathering and analysing the data in order to provide an accurate and timely evidence base on what was really happening. This was then used to begin driving changes in behaviours, decision making and leadership.


When reflecting on all the evidence across the entire project, four leading headlines emerged as being critical to making a positive impact on DToC: achieving a shared understanding; exhibiting the right behaviours; appropriate decision-making and the role of leadership.

Full document: Why not home? Why not today?

Consultation seeks views on the impact of data sharing between NHS Digital and the Home Office: call for evidence

This consultation seeks views on the impact of data-sharing arrangements under the memorandum of understanding on the health and health care-seeking behaviour of migrants. This consultation closes on 30 March 2018.

feedback-2044700_1920Evidence can be:

  • peer-reviewed publications
  • narrative accounts
  • case studies
  • more formal analyses using qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods

Submissions can be sent to data-sharingreview@phe.gov.uk

Further details of PHE’s call for evidence can be read here 

Long-term sustainability of the NHS and social care

Government response to the report on long-term sustainability of the NHS and adult social care | The Department of Health and Social Care  

This paper responds to the Lords Select Committee report stating that significant efficiencies will be needed to make the NHS and social care system sustainable for the long term.

The original report made 34 recommendations in the areas of:

  • service transformation
  • funding the NHS and adult social care
  • innovation technology and productivity
  • public health, prevention and patient responsibility
  • lasting political consensus


Full document: Government response to the Lords Select Committee report on Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care| The Department of Health and Social Care


Integrated care systems

Making sense of integrated care systems, integrated care partnerships and accountable care organisations in the NHS in England |  Chris Ham | The King’s Fund 


NHS England has recently changed the name of accountable care systems to integrated care systems. In this updated long read, Chris Ham looks at work under way in these systems and at NHS England’s proposals for an accountable care organisation contract.

The article looks at the following:

  • Why is change needed?
  • What are integrated care and population health?
  • What’s happening with new care models?
  • What’s happening in integrated care systems?
  • What are ACOs and why are they controversial?
  • How are integrated care systems and partnerships developing?
  • What has this way of working achieved?
  • What do these developments mean for commissioning?
  • Are these developments really a way of making cuts?
  • Will these developments lead to privatisation?
  • Where next?

The author concludes that integrated care should be supported as it is the best hope for the NHS and its partners to provide services to meet the needs of the growing and ageing population.

Full article: Making sense of integrated care systems, integrated care partnerships and accountable care organisations in the NHS in England


Five strategies to improve junior doctors’ dissatisfaction

A new blog post on The King’s Fund identifies five ways to improve the morale of junior doctors. Bilal Sahib writes that, “dissatisfaction among junior doctors has reached unprecedented levels: 80 per cent feel excessively stressed, and the number progressing directly to specialty training is declining.”

doctor-563428_1920While Sahib recognises some of these solutions can only be implemented at a national level, for instance boosting the number of medical school places. There are some  that could be implemented at a local level which could help to bolster the morale of this workforce. Their suggestions include:

  • Better rota planning
  • Induction
  • Rest facilities
  • Out-of- hours support
  • Debriefs

Full details about the suggestions and  further details can be found at The King’s Fund

Related: A retrospective analysis on  BMJ Open looks at the impact of industrial action by English junior doctors in 2016.  This is the first UK study that looked at the effects of striking junior doctors, as well as the first to evaluate the impact of withheld inhospital emergency services (the April 2016 strike was the first ever UK strike to include emergency care).

The full analysis can be downloaded from the BMJ here

In the media:  The Daily Mail  The 2016 junior doctors’ strike led to emergency care being withdrawn for patients – the first time this has ever happened in the history of the NHS

Staff Wellbeing tracking resource

NHS England have produced a case study looking at how a mental health service, Back on Track IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies),  formed a wellbeing team to examine employees’ perceptions of their workplace and the challenges they face.life-863462_1920
Case Study Summary: Challenges such as stressful situations and day-to-day demands prompted the formation of a wellbeing team to examine employees’ perceptions of their workplace at Back on Track IAPT service, Hammersmith and Fulham. Based on feedback a range of changes were made to working arrangements to raise staff wellbeing.

The challenge: staff fed back that their wellbeing was being affected by working long hours and having to manage stressful clinical situations, particularly management of risk.

How it worked:  A wellbeing team was formed and funding and study leave was arranged so that wellbeing team members could attend relevant continuing professional development . This ensured that they were able to learn from best practice in other areas. The wellbeing team then sent an anonymous survey to all team members asking the following questions:

  • Does Back on Track care about my wellbeing?
  • To what extent do you feel able to raise and discuss difficult and controversial topics?
  • How comfortable are you in meeting your role demands?
  • Am I able to adopt a healthy work-life balance?
  • Is my mental health good?
  • Is my physical health good?
  • Are my energy levels high?
  • Am I well, resilient and performing at my best?

Responses were categorised according to groups: High Intensity Therapists,   Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners and administrative teams to identify themes within each group.

Next steps: Changes have been made- the service now offers a short ‘mindful walk’ for employees each week. There are also plans to use a standardised questionnaire to assess wellbeing to help benchmark the service in the future, as well as starting  a small gardening project in the patio at the back of the main team base.

The full case study can be read here