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Two-thirds of trust chairs and chief executives believe the workforce is the most pressing challenge to delivering high-quality healthcare at their trust (NHS providers 2018). Industry agrees with many commentators observing that succession challenges and the ability to attract top talent is now firmly established as a top ten risk.

Allocate recently brought together one of its leadership network forums – a group of health service practitioners – to explore the challenge of the workforce: how we recruit, train, retain, respect, motivate and deploy our skilled staff.

Speakers included:

  • John Bullivant, Chair, Good Governance Institute
  • Liz Jones, UK Marketing Director, Allocate Software
  • Darren Kilroy, Medical Director, Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Andy Haynes, Medical Director, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nadeem Moghal, Senior Clinical Fellow, The Nuffield Trust
  • Mike Wright, Chief Nurse, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Chris Goulding, South West London Collaborative

A mix of directors, clinicians and managers heard from senior medical and nurse directors the challenges and successes of employing directly, in England alone, over a million staff together with another 400,000 agency and contracted staff providing NHS services.

Key solutions included:

  • developing team-based job plans
  • clarifying the role of the MD
  • marketing rostering data up to the board
  • monitoring clinical engagement
  • improving data quality
  • involving clinicians in financial turnaround
  • how bank collaboratives solve not only staffing issues but create a forum for partnership working.

Our colleagues in Scotland have added respect for staff to their Nolan principles. England should do the same. In South Africa the King IV report is based on principle rather than compliance. Regulators in the UK fail to recognise the burden of their role seemingly misunderstanding that assurance of safety, value for money and joined up services comes from within the organisation itself. However, the focus is now moving to system or place based teams and services which creates new challenges for public reporting, governance, audit and delivery.

“Respect: Holders of public office must respect fellow members of their public body and employees of the body and the role they play, treating them with courtesy at all times. “

A full report with a series of challenging questions for Boards together with great and not so great answers will be published shortly jointly by Allocate and the Good Governance Institute.

Here we will present a series of challenging questions for Boards together with great and not so great answers.

Thanks to Allocate for a great day of discussion, commitment and sharing. The next session will be held at Chandos House – home of The Royal Society of Medicine in London 2nd April… can’t wait.


Find out more and register for the next Leadership Network Briefing