Mind the gap – aligning our workforce plans

10 Oct 2023

This year has seen some major steps forward in our workforce planning for health and social care with the publication of the first South East London ICS People Strategy in the Spring, followed by the launch of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan in June. A key objective for the ICS People Programme since then has been to ensure our plans align effectively to the national strategy – identifying any gaps and what we need to do to address these in the short and longer term. Although at the current time, national funding to support delivery of Long Term Workforce Plan is yet to be confirmed.

We were pleased to note that the five interlinked strategic priorities we set out in our plan aligned well with the three priority actions identified in the national plan, which are to:   

  • Train: Expanding domestic education, training and recruitment to grow our workforce
  • Retain: Improving culture and wellbeing to improve retention
  • Reform: New roles and digital innovations to enhance patient care

Our review showed certain gaps however and so, to address these we have added the following actions to our short-term Delivery Plan for 2023/24 (priorities 1 to 3 below) or scheduled them as longer-term actions (priorities 4 to 5 below).

Actions for 2023/24 will be to:

  1. Develop our SEL apprenticeship approach in response to the national workforce plan and ensure we maximise the potential of the apprenticeship levy.
  2. Grow our Employee Value Proposition to help encourage more people to work and stay working in SE London, by promoting our unique benefits; career development; inclusive team culture and fulfilling employment and volunteering opportunities.
  3. Drive local employment (supported by national campaigns); promote health and care careers via schools and colleges, local career fairs, work experience, T-levels and link employment opportunities to apprenticeships.

In the medium term we will:

  1. Develop greater opportunities to significantly increase apprenticeship training places and career development via apprenticeship routes e.g. medical training apprenticeship
  2. Drive innovation through our workforce planning to grow the digital, software and technological capability of our staff, including clinical and back office fields.

We look forward to working together with our partners to deliver these priorities and will be sharing more information about our progress in the coming months. If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact the People Programme Team by emailing SELICSWorkforce@gstt.nhs.uk.