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Case Study – Integrated Workforce Planning with NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

Health Managers from NHS providers across Shropshire Telford and Wrekin have partnered with Skills for Health to learn more about integrated workforce planning.  

The need 

Effective design, development and deployment of the workforce is one of the most important aspects required to underpin Integrated Care System (ICS) sustainability in the short, medium, and long term. Skills for Health’s Six Steps Methodology to Integrated Workforce Planning® identifies the elements that are needed in any workforce plan, considering the current and future demand for services, the local demographic situation, and the impact on other services., It is also the only methodology cited as a tool in The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan to help with workforce planning. 

Some of the current challenges are: 

  • The workforce – Ensuring the right skills are available to achieve consistent health benefits for the local population; 
  • Transformation – Achieving greater service integration while meeting financial requirements; 
  • Changing population health needs – Meeting health and care needs in the context of rising demand and complexity across the ICS. 

The solution  

The Six Steps Methodology was designed to give participants the tools and knowledge needed to understand and apply a robust approach to workforce planning. At its simplest, effective workforce planning ensures you have a workforce of the right size, with the required skills, organised in the right way, within the budget you can afford, delivering the best possible services.

Sara Hayes, Deputy Chief People Officer for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “We were delighted to partner with Skills for Health to offer this programme to our system colleagues, and we have been pleased by the enthusiastic response. The feedback has been extremely positive, and we should reap the benefits through effective workforce plans that meet the needs of the communities we serve in the years to come.”

Programme participants took part in an initial planning workshop and three ‘learning through action’ virtual sessions ahead of the final ‘show and share’ celebratory event in September. Participants were introduced to the Six Steps Methodology and used this approach to develop plans in their individual areas, following these integral steps: 

  1. Define the plan 
  2. Map the service change 
  3. Define the required workforce 
  4. Understand workforce availability 
  5. Develop an action plan 
  6. Implement, monitor and revise 

The impact 

Representatives from The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Shropshire Community Health Trust and The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust all took part in the programme. They have been working on important system projects including diabetes transformation, the STW Hospital Transformation Programme and the MSK Transformation Programme.

Some of the participants focussed on service specific plans within an individual organisation, including pharmacy, blood sciences and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) at SaTH. 

The celebration event, held at Shrewsbury Town FC earlier this month, allowed them to showcase the progress they have made, demonstrate how the Six Steps Methodology has supported them on their journey to workforce planning, and share the challenges, obstacles and learnings experienced along the way.  


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