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Driving strategic workforce planning and operational excellence in an integrated care board

Driving strategic workforce planning and operational excellence in an integrated care board

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Through strategic leadership and effective collaboration, we significantly enhanced the understanding and implementation of a comprehensive workforce plan for an integrated care board, ensuring sustainable workforce supply and operational efficiency.

Background

NHS Midlands and Lancashire were commissioned by an integrated care board (ICB) to develop their system operational workforce plan for 2024/25. The objective was to provide strategic system leadership in workforce planning and transformation, engage with all system provider partners, and address critical workforce roles to ensure improved local supply and retention through a collaborative system approach.

Action

NHS Midlands and Lancashire took the following steps to address the challenge:

– Provided strategic system leadership for workforce planning, identifying critical roles for deep dive analysis, and shaping targeted interventions by the ICB people programme team.

– Led the annual operational planning process for workforce, coordinating provider plans, and developing a comprehensive system workforce narrative aligned with activity and finance plans.

– Engaged with the System Workforce Planners Network and ICB planning leads to facilitate timely data sharing and ensure adherence to delivery timelines.

– Prepared monthly workforce assurance reports, highlighting key metrics, areas of risk, and presenting findings to the ICB, People Committee, and Quality & Safety Committee.

– Developed a workforce bridge for the forecast outturn position for March 2024 and to track drivers of actual vs plan variances for substantive, bank and agency workforce on a monthly basis.

– Collaboratively developed the system workforce narrative, articulating workforce priorities for 2024/25, and ensuring alignment with drivers of workforce change.

– Created bespoke data collection templates for deep dive analysis of critical roles, including key workforce characteristics such as vacancies, turnover, supply routes, and future demand projections.

– Linked with professional groups to share insights and inform the development of system priorities.

Impact

The strategic and collaborative efforts led to several positive outcomes:

– Effective coordination across all system partners resulted in the development of an operational workforce plan with clearly articulated assumptions, triangulated with activity and finance plans.

– Successful submission of the numerical and narrative workforce plan for the ICB, meeting the NHSE deadlines.

– System-wide agreement on critical workforce roles, each supported by bespoke data collection templates, and a commitment to building delivery plans for improved and sustainable local workforce supply.

By driving strategic workforce planning and operational excellence, we have significantly contributed to the sustainability and efficiency of the workforce in the integrated care board, ensuring the region is well-prepared for future demands.

For more information

For more information and to learn how we can help you with your workforce plan, please contact us.

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