What are the biggest challenges currently facing you as an organisation, and how are you planning to meet these from an HR/recruitment perspective?
Demand for NHS services is rising by around 8% a year, linked to an ageing population, at the same time as the government seeks to balance the books, imposing severe budget restrictions and cuts. Recruitment and retention is a major challenge. Nationally, there have been insufficient funded training places for nurses and doctors and this is hitting trusts hard. We are all constantly looking for innovative ways of attracting, recruiting and retaining valuable staff – this has a direct link to standards of care and patient safety.
Local workforce planning, and a daily focus on attraction and recruitment, is starting to pay dividends and some of the vacancy gaps are reducing. However with an estimated 22,000 national nurse vacancies and around 2,000 in this region, it is not a challenge that will disappear any time soon.
As we question whether some tasks can be done differently, or by less skilled people, a range of new roles are being developed to help bridge the gap. These are increasingly arising from providing more integrated, patient- centred approaches to delivery of health and social care.
We are also focusing on increasing workforce engagement and use Listening into Action (LIA) to help with this, via a better engagement strategy. As a teaching trust we and our staff place a high value on education, training and personal development. We work closely with two local universities for medical and nurse training, and supplement this with a range of in-house and online activities and approaches.
Talent and succession is increasingly important and we are currently refreshing our approach to this so that people are clear about their own career pathways and choices, and how we can support them to reach their career goals, as well as ensure we have the talent we need for now and in the future.