Is your medical workforce fit for purpose?

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In his keynote speech to the NHS confederation in June 2014 Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England,  raised the issue of medical staffing and training by asking ‘Does our historical assumption hold for all time that just about every acute hospital needs a full complement of trainee doctors to keep services afloat? That may have been the pragmatic approach during decades when the numbers of consultants was so constrained but with a 76 per cent increase in full-time equivalent NHS hospital consultants since 2000 what if some smaller NHS hospitals decided on a different medical staffing model, more akin to that of some European Hospitals?’

In addition the Royal College of Physicians’ Future Hospital initiative has shown that consultant expansion has often meant more sub-specialisation which, while desirable, has sometimes led to fragmented care for older people with multi-morbidity.

At this evening seminar, our panel, chaired by Vijaya Nath, debated the future of our medical workforce; what do these aspirational changes for a refreshed approach to medical staffing from NHS England mean to the boards of London hospitals? We will hear from Greg Allen, Head of the Centre for Workforce Intelligence, on the national perspective, and from local and system-level medical directors.


Greg Allen

Greg Allen is the managing director and accountable officer for Centre for Workforce Intelligence. Greg’s background is in economics, operations, human resources and organisational development, and his experience includes 11 years as an executive director in the NHS and 10 years in the private sector. He is an expert in human resource management and health workforce planning and development.

Greg is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and he is also passionate about stakeholder engagement, service delivery and working in partnership. Greg has held a number of national NHS responsibilities including employer-side chair of the NHS Staff Council (pay negotiation) and member of the Social Partnership Forum.

Currently, he is a member of the NHS Employers Policy Board and also of the Department of Health’s Health and Care Partnership, which was launched in April 2014.

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAllenUK

Jonathan Fielden

Jonathan Fielden joined University College London Hospitals in July 2012 from The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust where he was Medical Director from 2009–12, Care Group Director, Urgent Care (2011–12) and Director of Medical Education and Development (2008–10). He is also a consultant in intensive care, having been appointed as a consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine in Reading in 1998. He trained in Bristol, Sydney Australia, and Portsmouth and Southampton and has developed a strong interest in medical leadership, health policy and models of care designed around and for patients promoting integration and enhancing value.

Jonathan has held national positions within the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the British Medical Association (where he was Deputy Chairman (2004–6) and Chairman (2006–9) of the Central Consultants and Specialists Committee). He has worked with the Department of Health, ministers and secretaries of state on the Payment by Results initiative, medical leadership, quality and most recently as part of the NHS Future Forum, the national stakeholder group and the NHS Top Leaders programme.

Celia Ingham Clark

Celia Ingham Clark is the Director for Reducing Premature Mortality at NHS England.

She trained in general and colorectal surgery and was appointed a consultant at the Whittington Hospital in 1996. After spells as Director of Medical Education, Clinical Director and (temporary) Director of Operations, she became the Trust Medical Director in 2004, and then Medical Director of Whittington Health integrated care organisation in 2011.

Celia has also held national clinical lead roles for colorectal cancer, and for transforming inpatient care under the Cancer Services Collaborative and later NHS Improvement.   

In 2012 she moved to work in London Strategic Health Authority as Medical Director for Revalidation and Quality, continuing this role with NHS England (London region) until December 2013.

Celia's particular interest is in supporting and implementing quality improvements in patient care.

Vijaya Nath

Assistant Director, Leadership Development, The King's Fund

See Vijaya's full biography.