It was great to see standing room only at our recent Workforce Transformation and Strategy Board meeting – a clear demonstration of the commitment we have from our colleagues to work together across the region.
With this in mind we would like to start by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved so far in our plans to become an ICS, from board level to front line teams across both health and care.
We know that many people are doing this alongside busy day jobs but despite this we are making good progress. As ever, there is more to do. Our focus is now turning to delivery – making transformations part of the day job, as well as sharing and scaling-up good practice.
Our shared vision continues to be about being the best place to work in health and care which includes making our region a great place to work, growing our workforce and developing leaders at all levels. The Board has recently agreed a fourth priority to highlight our ambitions to be the best and recognised as a region leading the way to transform its workforce.
So you may be wondering what’s been happening over the last few months?
You may remember that our region was chosen, along with seven other ICS areas, to test the national draft workforce development and readiness tool. This provides a framework to understand where we are across nine discreet areas of workforce practice and what is required to fully realise our ambitions. We’ve now received feedback and recommendations and are starting to discuss these with the workforce board and chief executives across the patch. You can read more here.
Working closely with Health Education England, we’ve just completed a strategic workforce planning project. For the first time we have been able to step back and look at our population health needs in 2025, the workforce across health and care and the links to service transformation and future requirements. Following four Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) engagement events a final report has been shared with the Board and we are in the process of identifying pilot areas to put the planning model into practice.
We have been busy finalising our contribution to the ICS long term plan which not only links with the priorities of the ICS but also the national interim NHS People Plan. This work has helped us think about our programme and further shape it around the edges. While we await the final People Plan, now expected in the new year, we are developing our own workforce strategy and we continue to embrace opportunities to influence the People Plan at a national level.
Just shy of half a million pounds has been allocated to some exciting workforce related projects across the ICS, thanks to funding from our partners Health Education England (HEE). Successful projects range from a social prescribing link worker training hub to youth mental health first aid training.
We hope some of you were able to pop along to the recent join our journey roadshows. These have taken place across the region with the aim of engaging public and staff about the ICS, how NHS organisations are working together and how health and care is changing. From a workforce perspective we have asked staff visiting the roadshows to tell us what’s good about where they work and what we can do to make it better. Any feedback we receive will help to inform our workforce strategy and future areas for engagement. If you missed the roadshows you can share your feedback online.
As part of our who’s who series we are delighted that service director for adult social care at Gateshead Council Stephanie Downey has shared with us her views from a social care perspective. Steph sits on our Board and Leadership Forum and works with our colleagues on the digital programme. You can watch Steph’s short film here.
These are just some of the highlights with much more detail and news in the rest of this bulletin. Our next edition will be out in December so feel free to send us any comments about this issue or ideas of what you might like to see included in the future.
Ken and Lisa
- Ken Bremner is the senior responsible officer for workforce transformation and chief executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
- Lisa Crichton – Jones is director of workforce transformation for the ICS