National NHS awards win highlights recruitment and training efforts in Cumbria
Published: 28th June 2017
The NHS in Cumbria has been recognised nationally for innovation and collaboration after winning two awards at the Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) Excellence awards which took place on Thursday 22 June.
The HPMA awards recognise and reward outstanding work in healthcare human resource management. North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust won the ‘Innovation in HR’ award for the Composite Workforce Model which has been developed at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven. The Trust also made the top three for the ‘Working Smarter’ award, regarding reducing and tackling agency spend. In addition, CLIC (Cumbria Learning & Improvement Collaborative) won the award for ‘Cross-sector Working’.
Having recognised the serious gaps in the medical workforce at West Cumberland Hospital, the Trust sought to create a new model which would provide a sustainable clinical workforce to ensure the continued provision of services. The Composite Workforce Model means that the traditional non-training junior and middle grade medical roles in acute medicine can be replaced by suitably trained and experience clinicians from a variety of clinical backgrounds.
Dr Katie Poulton, consultant acute physician at West Cumberland Hospital who helped to create the model, said: “I am delighted that we have received national recognition for our workforce model which is the result of a lot of hard work.
“We knew that we were simply not going to recruit into medical roles in the traditional way so in order to provide a positive solution, we came up with a model which deliberately blends a variety of health professionals to make full use of their experience and expertise. The roles include advanced clinical practitioners, academic fellows, GP trainees and physician associates
“We are working with our partners at the University of Cumbria, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Health Education North West to provide training for the roles. The model is providing innovative career pathways for staff as well as reducing the amount of money spent on locum staff. By the end of 2018, it is intended that all 28 trainee advanced clinical practitioners will have achieved Masters status. Through this approach, we are building a workforce for the future in West Cumbria.”
The Trust was also pleased to finish in the top three for the ‘Working Smarter’ award for reducing and tackling the Trust’s spend on locum staff. This new award was looking for initiatives that demonstrated how HR teams have worked ‘smarter’ to save money while still improving quality, safety and patient care.
Christine Brereton, director of human resources and organisational development at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The Trust’s spend on agency staff, particularly medical staff, had continued to increase therefore we established an in-house Agency team to ‘gate-keep’ and control all bookings from departments and to liaise directly with agencies. As a result of this work, the Trust has made many safety and quality improvements as well as saving £5 million in agency spend in 2016/17 which is outstanding. We are now being asked to share our approach across other NHS Trusts.”
The Cumbria Learning and Improvement Collaborative (CLIC) collected their award for ‘Cross-sector Working’. CLIC brings together health and care workers from all of Cumbria’s hospitals, community services, primary care and private care providers to offer training. It brings people together to learn; building new networks and ensuring training is uniform and therefore valid if staff change jobs and organisations. It means staff are learning with colleagues from other organisations who can share different experiences, and the focus is very much on patient care and reflecting on experience, meaning staff are focused on improving all the time.
Following the success of a training programme for registered nurses, CLIC’s project provided the opportunity to deliver free clinical skill awareness workshops for all non-registered health and care support workers across the independent sector and NHS. Between June 2016 and February 2017, 177 workshops were delivered with over 1,300 different staff trained from over 250 places of work.
Toni Hall, Education & Learning Manager for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and Programme Manager for the CLIC Clinical Skills programme said: “I’m delighted with the national recognition for the team and the great developments in Cumbria. Health and care support workers are valued members of our workforce, providing a crucial role in the delivery of patient care but they don’t consistently have access to high quality training. The HPMA ‘Cross-sector working’ award recognised the importance of training for this staff group, the impact that the programme had on improved patient care and the benefits of staff learning and problem-solving together across organisational boundaries. We hope that the important learning from the programme can be continued as ‘business as usual’ in future developments.”
Christine Brereton added: “One of the Trust’s top priorities is to recruit more doctors, nurses and health professionals to our organisation. Winning and being shortlisted for these national awards highlights our commitment to seeking workforce solutions in order to provide safe, high quality services at both of our hospital sites. We hope the award wins will draw attention to the fantastic career pathway opportunities here in West, North & East Cumbria as well as the excellent training provided by CLIC.”
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