Key areas for action on the health and care workforce

Closing the gap: Key areas for action on the health and care workforce | Nuffield Trust |  The King’s Fund | The Health Foundation

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Staffing is the make-or-break issue for the NHS in England. Workforce shortages are already having a direct impact on patient care and staff experience. This report calls for urgent action to avoid a vicious cycle of growing shortages and declining quality. The workforce implementation plan to be published later this year presents a pivotal opportunity to do this.

In this report, experts from the Nuffield Trust, The King’s Fund and the Health Foundation set out a series of policy actions that, evidence suggests, should be at the heart of the workforce implementation plan. This report focuses on nursing and general practice, where the workforce problems are particularly severe. The authors suggest a number of high-impact policy actions which, if properly funded and well implemented across the NHS would over time create a sustainable model for general practice and help to eliminate nursing shortages. These will require investment of an extra £900 million per year by 2023/24 into the budget of Health Education England.

Closing the gap: Key areas for action on the health and care workforce – full report

Closing the gap: Key areas for action on the health and care workforce – overview

See also: Offer £5,200 grants to nursing students and ramp up overseas recruitment to stop NHS workforce crisis | The Kings Fund

 

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Changes to the general practice workforce

The Health Foundation | March 2019 | Changes to the general practice workforce

The Health Foundation has published Changes to the general practice workforce which outlines how in contrast to the GP workforce, the numbers of nurses and other direct patient care staff has continued to rise.

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Key findings:

  • In contrast to the trend among GPs, the number of nurses and other direct patient care staff working in general practice has continued to rise.
  • The overall number of nurses grew by 1.5%, 240 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff, to 16,040 between September 2017 and September 2018.
  • Most of this growth was in the number of advanced nurse practitioners (8.2%), nurse specialists and extended-role practice nurses. Practice nurses remained the largest group, although the number is down by 4.3% on their peak in September 2015.
  • Numbers of other direct patient care staff working (such as dispensers and health care assistants) have also risen, by 5.5% to 12,250 FTE. The number of pharmacists has grown substantially since September 2015, and paramedics are also growing rapidly in number, from just 60 FTE in September 2016 to 360 FTE (Source: The Health Foundation).

Read the document from The Mental Health Foundation

Race equality in the NHS workforce

This podcast explores big ideas in health and care, and features experts from The King’s Fund and beyond discussing the NHS, social care, and all things health policy and leadership.

What can be done about race inequality in the NHS workforce? How can we ensure representative leadership happens? Helen McKenna talks with Yvonne Coghill, Director at NHS England Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES); Dionne Daniel, Project Lead, Nursing Workforce Remodelling Research Project; and Ben Morrin, Director of Workforce at University College London Hospitals.

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A critical moment [NHS workforce trends report]

The Health Foundation | February 2019 | A critical moment

The third annual NHS workforce trends report has been published by the Health Foundation. A critical moment involves analysis of the NHS staff profile and trends in England in 2018 largely confirms the trends identified in our 2016 and 2017 reports, and shows an ongoing deterioration for some key staff groups.

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Image source: health.org.uk

The key findings are:

  • Analysis of the NHS staff profile and trends in England in 2018 largely confirms the trends identified in our previous reports, showing an ongoing deterioration for some key staff groups.
  • The past year has seen modest growth of 1.8% in the total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. However, this is against a backdrop of more than 100,000 vacancies reported in total by trusts, including more than 41,000 vacant nursing posts.
  • Staffing in some key areas is a problem. The number of GPs is falling, as is the number of nurses and health visitors working in community and mental health services.
  • The government has committed to increasing the number of nurses in training, however, in the past year the number of applications and acceptances for pre-registration nursing degrees in England both fell.
  • Staff retention has worsened since 2011/12 and our analysis shows there has been no improvement over the past year.
  • International recruitment will remain vital to achieving the overall staffing numbers needed, but it is currently being constrained by broader migration policies and by the uncertainties of Brexit.

A critical moment also  focuses in more detail on two critical ‘pressure points’ – the retention and attrition of NHS staff in general, and then student nurse attrition.

This report sets out recommendations for improving these worrying trends. It then concludes with a brief assessment of ‘where next’ in terms of health workforce policy and planning in England, in the context of ongoing reforms of the NHS (Source: The Health Foundation).

Read the publication online  or download 

Health matters: health and work

Public Health England | January 2019 |Health matters: health and work

Health matters: health and work  provides actions that employers in general, local authorities, and the NHS workforce can take with regards to health and work.

 

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Image source: gov.uk

The latest edition of Health matters from Public Health England (PHE) brings together in one place the most informative data, toolkits and the best evidence of what works in addressing and removing health-related barriers to gaining and retaining employment. It focuses on the actions that can be taken by employers in general, local authorities and the NHS workforce with regards to health and work.

It is aimed at health and care professionals, local commissioners, employers and system partners, including the community and voluntary sector.

Full details from PHE

Health matters: health and work

NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) metrics

NHS England | January 2019 |NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) metrics

The Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) is a set of ten specific measures (metrics) that will enable NHS organisations to compare the experiences of Disabled and non-disabled staff. This information will then be used by the relevant NHS organisation to develop a local action plan, and enable them to demonstrate progress against the indicators of disability equality.
The WDES resources have been developed to prepare and support NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts for the implementation of the WDES, which comes into force on 1 April 2019.

 

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NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) Metrics: resources

NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) metrics- this document provides detail about the 10 WDES metrics, which cover such areas as the Board, recruitment, bullying and harassment, engagement and the voices of Disabled staff.

NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard
Metrics

NHS England have produced a set of resources developed to help prepare and support trusts for the implementation of the WDES 

Further information is available from NHS England

A Model Employer: Increasing black and minority representation at senior levels across the NHS

NHS England | January 2019 | A Model Employer: Increasing black and minority ethnic representation at senior level across the NHS

A Model Employer: Increasing black and minority ethnic representation at senior level across the NHS outlines the ambitions set by NHS England and NHS Improvement and reflected in the Long Term Plan, for each NHS organisation to set its own target for BME representation across its leadership team and broader workforce. The strategy will provide accelerated, intensive support to local NHS organisations on increasing the recruitment of BME staff at senior levels (Source: NHS England).

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Image source: england.nhs.uk

Related: NHS England [blog] Long term support for workforce race equality

 

See also: Workforce Race Equality Standard data reporting