Chief Executive, NHS Employers
Chair, Workforce Deployment Expert Group
‘Optimising the NHS’ human resources is more important now than ever before.’
The demands on the people providing services in the NHS is a profound challenge for all parts of the NHS.
Demand for our services is growing both because we can do more for our patients, and because they need more care. It is also exacerbated by the pressures on ours and other public services, not least in social care.
The need for additional people to help meet these pressures is the key limiting factor for many organisations, but at the same time the NHS accepts that it must do more to retain the people who already work with us.
Whilst investment is needed therefore 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 utilising 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. Compared to the rest of the world, for example, the UK is using e-rostering not just to schedule staff but also to innovate to support new ways of working. The use the data the NHS holds is also a powerful tool to improve safety, reduce spend on agencies and improve staff retention.
This timely report showcases how some trusts lead the way is using technology to better manage and support clinical teams and presents analysis of data that shows how workforce deployment 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 HR 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.