Chief Executive, NHS Employers
Chair, Workforce Deployment Expert Group

Optimising the NHS’s human resources is more important now than ever before.


The demands placed on NHS staff are a profound challenge for all parts of the service.  Demand is growing because we are able to do more for our patients and because many of our patients need more care. The growing pressures on the NHS and other public services, not least in social care, exacerbate the demand.


The need for more staff to meet these pressures is the key limiting factor for many NHS organisations, but the NHS has to do more to retain the people who already work in the service.


While investment is needed to mitigate pressure and there is a gap to close in terms of numbers, we must accept there is more we can do to make sure we are properly using the talents of the people and teams who make up the NHS.


Our use of technology is a good news story in that regard for the NHS. The UK uses e-rostering not just to schedule staff but also to innovate new ways of working. The use of the data the NHS holds is a powerful tool to improve safety, reduce spend on agencies, and improve staff retention.


This timely report showcases how some trusts lead the way in using technology to better manage and support clinical teams and presents analysis of data that shows how workforce optimisation technology can improve efficiencies and improve patient care.


The key building blocks in our organisations are the teams and line managers; e-rostering and other human resource technologies have an important role to play in making the business of deployment and planning easier and more transparent. The Workforce Deployment Expert Group, all of whom freely gave their time, interrogated the data and case studies gathered for this report. This report reflects their analysis and conclusions and I thank my colleagues in the group for their insights and time.


Danny Mortimer
Leeds March 2018