NHS and social care workforce: Meeting our needs now and in the future?

This content relates to the following topics:

Part of Time to Think Differently

The NHS and social care workforce is the primary driver of future health and social care costs: 1.4 million people work in the NHS and a further 1.6 million in the social care sector. Together they account for 1 in 10 of the working population and around 70 per cent of expenditure for the average health and social care provider. So it's important to ensure that the workforce of today is prepared for the health and social care needs of the future.

Today's workforce is facing a number of challenges. Training and development focuses on episodic care, but the greatest demand on services comes from older people who require integrated, long-term health and social care. There is a mismatch between the location of the current workforce and where care is needed, and both the NHS and social care sector require multi-skilled staff to work across boundaries.

Our latest Perspectives paper explores these challenges and offers practical suggestions to address them.

This is the second in a series of four papers that aim to crystallise ideas for change in areas where, we believe, new thinking is required. The first paper asked whether NHS buildings were obstacles or opportunities, and subsequent papers will focus on the use of technology; and the role of patients and service users. The papers draw on ideas generated by seminars, discussions with experts and feedback from the Time to Think Differently programme.

Comments

david cooper

Position
health/social care manager,
Organisation
health and social care
Comment date
25 July 2013
The report was most welcome and informative , in an area which is often surprisingly neglected.
However i felt the section on social care, by comparison with Health, was rather underdeveloped. Perhaps reflecting the differing status awarded to social care workers.
There was also insufficient recognition of the very low pay, and poor conditions of care workers in the private home care market. Many on "zero hours" contracts. The impact of externalisation of the services, has not helped to raise standards or quality. How will this be addressed in a period of austerity?

Simon Foster

Organisation
Equip 4 Change CIC
Comment date
25 July 2013
Thanks Kings Fund. This is such an important issue and your approach, looking across the whole care sector is very welcome.

It's good to see your paper takes in the 5.5million informal carers (though I think it's confusing to bracket them with volunteers - they're not interchangeable), many of whom take frontline, risk-bearing responsibility day and night. They deserve, like patients, as much knowledge and training as possible.

Carers and ex-carers are often amazing reserviors of knowledge, experience and energy in specific field. Creatively engaged, they are a great resource. Equip 4 Change CIC recently delivered dementia training for care staff and family carers together and the learning flows both ways to everyone's advantage. There's a lot to be said for integrating them more meaningfully in workforce development.

Ian Legg

Position
Health Coordination Project Manager,
Organisation
North Yorkshire County Council / SR-CCG
Comment date
26 July 2013
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust have a (self-funded, PCT would not fund machines or strips) Patient oral anticoagulant self testing scheme. It has shown in a local study a significantly increased time within theraputic range for these patients. It has also improved their quality of life significantly.

Carolyn Kus

Position
Director,
Organisation
County Council
Comment date
29 July 2013
your slide deck on workforce was very informative but needs to take into account social care more as this had less references. Going forward we need to take into account the whole of the workforce, including volunteers and carers.
There is no doubt workforce and in particular workforce of the future is on everyone's mind -my experiences as ADASS lead for workforce in the East Midlands is we need to have a different workforce, focussing on the 'right attitude' and therefore we will need to think differently in how we recruit our workforce of the future.

sue henry

Position
Director of NHS Workplace Sport and health prog,
Organisation
MSH Partnership
Comment date
02 August 2013
This report is welcome and sets out the challenges ahead. The area that hasn't been addressed but perhaps will have the biggest impact on a workforce that is 'fit for the future' is the health and well being of health and social care staff. Our staff also have LTLCs; unhealthy lifestyles; stress etc. If we don't look after the HWB of the staff we have today in 10 years time the NHS will be looking after them but in a different way- as a service user! One of the stats in Boorman highlighted the impact of staff health and wellbeing on patient care. 80% of staff interviewed said their own HWB had a direct impact on patient care. We can't separate staff HWB from improved patient care, compassion and experience. We invest very little in really looking after the HWB of staff and for those in some social care settings there is even less on offer to them

paula mcfadden

Position
lecturer in social work,
Organisation
Queens University belfast
Comment date
01 November 2015
Hi I like your comments regarding workforce well being. This is an I have studied regarding resilience and burnout and currently I am looking at models for interventions to improve mental health at work. The organizational context is key to why staff are feeling the pressures as well as of course the funding issues and staff vacancies and workload pressures. I am not familiar with Boorman you refer to and the link between staff well being and patient impact, which is under researched as a specific area. Can you guide me to this reference please? Thanks

Add your comment