Our Spring Events: the latest strategies for future-proofing the workforce and a celebration of our incredible health and care people

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4 mins

By Skills for Health | 28 April 2021

As we approach the beginnings of summer and some well-needed sunshine, we would like to take the time to reflect on some of the events we have had the pleasure to take part in during the first quarter of the year.

Looking back at the beginning of the year, we met with fellow experts from across the health sector at the NHS Workforce Strategy Virtual Conference to discuss the implementation of the NHS People Plan. Dawn Probert, one of our Senior Workforce Consultants co-presented with Martin Giddy, Primary Care Training Hub Business Manager at Health Education England, at this informative virtual conference.

The guidance we presented  stemmed from  Dawn’s thorough case study which successfully piloted Primary Care Network Workforce Planning across North Devon. Discussing the results of her pilot, Dawn alerted the audience that the ‘front doors’ of our General Practices are under immense strain, which has particularly worsened over the past 12 months. Dawn put forward that suitable workforce planning to support Primary Care Networks is essential to relieve this strain. Her session aimed to allow attendees to understand the type of support that their primary care organisations may need to develop the tools and resources to enact successful workforce planning, building a workforce that is fit for the future.

As spring began, we were invited to attend The NHS Employee Wellbeing conference as guest speakers. Toby Lindsay, our Principal Consultant in Leadership, Management and Organisational Development commenced his presentation by touching on something we all know too well; that modern life can be complex, demanding, and uncertain. This feeling has become ever more prevalent during the past year of uncertainty due to COVID-19.

Toby’s professional interests are centred on his passion for helping people to learn and develop so that they can enjoy their work more and become the best leaders they can. He delved into solutions for introducing a deeper sense of community into our workforces that allow the sharing of emotional needs in the workplace. Our ability to tap into a deeper sense of community in the workplace is imperative both for our own personal wellbeing, and to help others around us to improve theirs.

Toby further touched on the reality that each individual has their own experience and their own outlook on the disorientation, disruption and dislocation we have felt strongly in both 2020 and 2021. The event went on to suggest methods of managing the dissolution of boundaries which occur as many of us continue to work from home. We know that it has been an uncertain and unprecedented year for so many people, ensuring the impact of this is transformed into a positive one, is something that must be prioritised.

Towards the end of the month, we joined up with our sister organisation, Skills for Justice, to present at The Emergency Services Wellbeing Conference. Sabina Enback, Senior Researcher, opened the event by walking the attendees through the results of her research COVID-19 Insights: Impact on workforce skills and its direct impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of our workforces. The statistics Sabina uncovered were alarming, with 68% of those who took part in the survey reporting a decline in their mental health as a result of working during the crisis. Sabina’s delve into this insightful dynamic research unveiled the risks of not engaging and consulting with your workforce.

Following on from Sabina, Toby Lindsay showcased organisational and leadership studies which demonstrated the impact of good leadership and management on the undeniable interdependency of wellbeing and productivity of a workforce. The presentation concluded with sharing best practice in improving wellbeing of staff members and tips on how to be a visible, collaborative, and inclusive leader.

Our trio of events in March culminated in an emotional celebration at our annual Our Health Heroes Award Ceremony. This event was created to champion real people, who are at the heart of our healthcare system. This year was particularly emotional due to the prevalence of COVID-19 and the very personal and moving stories that were shared. We would like to say another huge congratulations to the 19 individuals and teams who were recognised at the event.

This year we had an incredible number of nominations and votes for outstanding members of the workforce. In fact, we couldn’t be more touched by the dedication and passion of health and care workers which has made such a huge difference to so many people in the most unprecedented of times. The ceremony was, of course, a little different this year – with the event hosted virtually for the first time. Chaired by our Executive Director Candace Miller and formally opened by Minister of State for Health, Edward Argar. You can find out more about the amazing individuals who received awards here or alternatively find coverage of the awards on social media searching the hashtag #OurHealthHeroes.

We regularly host informative and discursive events which attend to workforce development, leadership skills, as well as insights from our research team. For nearly 20 years’ we have been passionate about the development of skills, jobs, and healthcare outcomes for improving the lives of the people delivering services and the patients receiving them.

If you would like to stay up to date with our events, you can sign up to our newsletter here

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