Interim NHS People Plan

What does this mean for libraries? 

Increasing use of technology and scientific innovation can transform care (p.5) and LKS can support this through current awareness services to alert staff to new developments, and through knowledge management to enable sharing of knowledge and best practice.

Libraries can provide access to evidence, for example through evidence searches, to evaluate and support the introduction of new technologies and ways of working, to help create a culture where digitally supported care is the norm (p.52).

There will be a need to help NHS staff gain new digital skills to help transform care pathways and clinical practice, and enable more efficient ways of working (p.5). While some areas are more difficult for LKS to provide training in (such as patient records) there may be areas that we can help with, such as helping staff become familiar with mobile devices and the use of apps.

Increases in student numbers as urgent workforce shortages such as in nursing are addressed (p.5) may require the introduction of new services to support them whilst on placement with NHS organisations, and may require LKS to work more in collaboration with university library services. Libraries support lifelong learning and continuing professional development of the whole workforce, and this will be key as technology changes and careers become more flexible (p.30) and will support the retention of staff.

The move toward Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) may have implications for the way library services are organised locally, and there may be a need to greater collaboration and partnership across a whole ICS. There will also be more partnership working between ICSs and local authorities that may lead to greater collaboration with public library services. It is expected that ICSs will become the main main organising unit for local health services by 2021 (p.55).

Source: NHS England

Link to main document

Date of publication: June 2019

Summary of driver:

The Interim NHS People Plan sets out the vision for 1.3 million people who work for the NHS to enable them to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan, with a focus on the immediate actions that need to be taken.

It argues that work will be much more multidisciplinary, people will have more flexible and less linear careers, and technology will enable people to work to their full potential. People want a better work/life balance.

The plan is organised around several themes:

  1. Making the NHS the best place to work

There is compelling evidence that the more engaged staff are, the more effective and productive they are. Staff report not having enough time, and sickness absence is higher than in the rest of the economy. The NHS needs to become an employer of excellence.

The report sets out actions to attract and retain staff.

  1. Improving our leadership culture

Leaders need to develop a positive, compassionate, inclusive and people-centred culture.

  1. Addressing urgent workforce shortages in nursing

Although there are shortages in lots of NHS professions, nursing is seen as the most urgent challenge.

  1. Delivering 21st century care

The NHS Long Term Plan sets our priorities such as increasing care in the community, redesigning and reducing pressure on emergency hospital services, more personalised care, digitally enabled primary and outpatient care and a focus on population health and reducing health inequalities.

This requires continued growth in the workforce and its transformation to one that is more flexible and adaptive, has a different skill mix and – through changes in ways of working – has more time to provide care.

The workforce needs to be ready to exploit the opportunities offered by technology and scientific innovation to transform care and release more time for care.

  1. A new operating model for workforce

Workforce activities need to happen at the optimal level – whether national, regional, system or organisational – with the expectation of an increasing role for integrated care systems (ICSs) as they develop.

The Plan starts to set out how the principle of subsidiarity will apply to people-related functions by setting out what functions can potentially be carried out at which levels.

  1. Immediate next steps

The Plan focuses on the urgent actions that need to be taken over the next year, and a full People Plan that cover five years is still being developed.

At the end of the Plan is a table detailing all of the proposed actions, who will do them, and the timescale.

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