Integrated workforce planning and development, based on the needs and assets of the community, and supporting multi-disciplinary approaches.
- An integrated workforce does not necessarily mean new job descriptions, more it means developing new ways of working that support people holistically, building resilience and independence
- It means developing the existing workforce to adapt, rather than focusing only on recruiting and training new workers.
Some of the most common new roles in an integration context are:
- Care coordinators or navigators coordinating care across health and social care, often connecting people with local services or community networks
- Community facilitators / enablers / link workers provide a practical interface between services and the wider community
- Health Coaches support and empower individuals to take an active role in managing their health and in their engagement with services.
- Multidisciplinary or Multiagency working means bringing together into one team workers from different professions, often around a single geography or to support a specific group of patients
- Proactive care means identifying people's health and care needs, and providing in a preventative and community based way, making sure that people, often those with complex needs, get the support that they need, at the right time and in the best place
- Person-centred care services and the system are designed around the individual and the outcomes important to them, and developed with people who use or provide services and their communities
- Asset-based approaches draw on the assets and resources available to an individual, their close network or the community, for example Social Prescribing and to an area, for example Asset-based Community Development (ABCD).
Frequently asked questions
What should a joint workforce strategy across the health and care system include?
- The workforce in its widest sense, both formal and informal
- Workforce planning based on the needs of the population, now and predicted into the future
- Workforce development, investing in the skills, behaviours and roles to support new ways of working
- Recruitment and retention, ensuring capacity to meet the population's needs.
What does an integrated workforce look like?
- Jobs are designed around their impact on health and wellbeing outcomes and on improving people's experience of care
- Practitioners across health and care disciplines work seamlessly together to achieve best outcomes
- There is an acknowledgement of how integration will affect people's roles and professional identities
- There is investment in changing skills and behaviours so that the workforce reflects the systems vision of person-centred and coordinated care.
What does workforce planning involve?
- It involves agreeing your workforce objectives, mapping the existing workforce against this, developing strategies to achieve aims, and wide communication engage the workforce
- Common tools include online resources, such as WRaPT or WSP, see below, or scenario planning, where stakeholders work together to define the workforce needed for the future, see Skills for Health.
What are some of the key issues in developing an integrated workforce?
- supporting workers to cope with changing professional and organisational identities, and new ways of working including employing person-centred, preventative, proactive care
- understanding what changes in roles, numbers and ways of working are necessary to meet future needs, and mapping the transition
- workforce shortages or challenges in recruiting and retaining workers
- investment in skills to meet the needs of new ways of working
- management accountability and oversight of staff who do not fit into established structures.
Terms and conditions vary for similar jobs in different sectors or organisations.
Case studies and examples
- NHS Confed: Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: a new role, Care Navigator, has been created to ensure people over 65 can easily receive the assistance they need
- The King's Fund: Specialists in out-of-hospital settings: Findings from six case studies exemplifies the key characteristics of this new way of working
- Skills for Health: Working together: a summary of health and social care integration projects is an extensive library of case studies chosen for their impact across four key impacts areas: reducing avoidable hospital admissions; reablement and timely hospital discharges; smoother transitions; and better use of resources
LGA support and resources
- 21st Century Public Servant a book and podcast bringing more life to the idea that 21st century public servants have a range of new roles to play in the places they serve
The following resources are available to LGA workforce subscribers. You can sign up here
- National Joint Council (NJC) job evaluation on the topic of ensuring that new jobs fit properly into organisational structures, here are an expanding range of resources explaining the proper use of job evaluation, including sample role profiles.
- Public Health transfer is the most concrete example of integration so far. These resources include the set of sample role profiles that were produced to help with the transfer of Public Health staff to local government.
Selected tools and resources from our partners
- King's Fund: Supporting integration through new roles and working across boundaries looks at the evidence on new roles and ways of spanning organisational workforce boundaries
- NHS Networks: Workforce redesign is a practical support package with a self-assessment tool and redesign matrix to help vanguards and pioneers (note: requires an NHS Networks user account)
- Whole Systems Partnership: Strategic Workforce Planning is a framework which provides models that help local partners to explore workforce transformation priorities for recruitment, development or the shift between hospital and community
- WRaPT: Workforce Repository and Planning Tool a web-based strategic workforce planning application that enables the collection, analysis and modelling of workforce information from providers across the whole health and social care economy
- Skills for Care: Workforce integration offers practical support and resources for workforce integration and development
- National Minimum Dataset is an online database of the social care workforce
- Skills for Health: Tools website is a portfolio of tools including for workforce reconfiguration, and assessing workforce supply
- NHS Leadership Academy: Resources is aimed at different parts of the health and social care system, for individuals and organisations
- Gov.uk: Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Public Health Workforce Strategy sets out actions for various partners in the new public health system to support and develop the public health workforce
- NHS England: MDT development: working towards an effective multidisciplinary/multiagency team brings together information about multi-disciplinary and integrated teams and looks at the types of teams that need to be in place to deliver integrated healthcare
- Recipe for good workforce planning NHS resource outlining what good workforce planning looks like along with useful links and resources to support workforce planning
- Skills for Health: Six Steps Methodology to integrated workforce planning provides a practical systematic approach that supports planning decisions
- The Social Care Commitment: resources gives information about signing up to the quality mark, with tools and resources to help achieve it.