Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Workforce - the sixth priority

In reality the Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STP) are all about reducing costs and in the NHS the cost of the wonderful staff is the biggest part of the overall cost to providing care.  So any good planners will be taking a close look at staffing costs and performance.

Prioity 6 for Buckinghamshires STP is:

"Establish a flexible and collaborative approach to workforce."

Their initiative is:

"A shared workforce plan to support rotation of staff across organisations to increase quality of care and staff retention."

Motherhood and apple pie! The NHS locally has been talking about improving retention of staff for years yet it is still a problem. Staff morale is low. Staff select to wok in some areas and avoid others. Much of the care is provided by locum staff rather than permanent staff.

In Buckinghamshire we have been short of A&E consultants for many years. GPs and Practice nurses, District Nurses and other specialities are also Report vacancies.

So there suggestion is to share staff across different trusts. But as the nurse taking my Blood Pressure on her evening ward round said: "Every trust is in the same situation. Every day I get asked by an agency to work for more money"

We need more permanent staff!

We need to have enough staff to cover illness, holidays, training etc.

There have rumours that across the STP, that is in Bucks, Oxfordshire & West Berks, £34m is to cut from staff budgets. This figure is in the published document but they do not explain how this will be achieved. As I type this on Christmas Eve they are trying to move an experienced nurse from my ward to one that does not a enough staff. This is dangerous. I do not know the outcome of the discussion.

This is the reality of 21st century hospitals across the country.

I do not think that this priority has a viable solution yet.

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