Workforce Programme - July 2019

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Update from Alex Brett, Programme Director

Throughout June and July the programme has been actively working on and progressing several projects across health and care in Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent.

At the end of May we bid farewell to Programme Director Greg Moores, who had worked within the local system for over 10 years and moved to a new position in Greater Manchester. At the beginning of June, I took over from Greg as both the new Workforce Programme Director, and new Director of Workforce and Development at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT).

Regarding the Health and Care Graduate Pathway, recruitment sessions were held in June at Newcastle College and Longton Cottage Hospital for students looking to undertake their Health and Social Care Apprenticeship. A total of 17 students attended, along with representation from MPFT, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and the local voluntary sector to facilitate the days. Facilitators provided positive feedback, with some saying it was a “really amazing opportunity” and they felt “empowered to be helping these young adults onto the first step of their career ladder”. Jane Tunnicliff, Group Head of Employer Engagement & Training, and her colleagues at the college were very supportive and gave their time throughout the session to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

Following both events, all 14 placements have been recruited to and rotational placements are scheduled to commence in September 2019. An evening Q&A session for students and parents was held earlier this month to share information on the qualification and placements, alongside answering any queries they may have. Furthermore, a detailed placement and induction overview session is planned for early August in which students will be briefed on what to expect during the first few weeks of their placements.

We have continued leading on the workforce involvement events alongside STP colleagues during the 12-week public conversation. Roadshows, meetings, events and workshops have been held across multiple organisations and areas throughout Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, encouraging staff to share what works well, what they think should be improved and what is important to them about local health and care.

Further exciting news to share is the launch of the Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Talent Academy on Together We’re Better’s website at You can now access information on lifestyles and living in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, apprenticeship and work experience in health and care and events across our organisations. Employers will also be able to access information on the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer. Furthermore, members of staff within the STP will be able to access our New Horizon’s Hub which has information and advice to help with career decisions and managers will soon be able to access advice to best support their staff, when it comes to doing what’s best for them in their career. This is the beginning of a new and exciting area on the website which will be consistently undergoing development to add new and helpful information for everyone to access.

The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Mental Health Workforce plan has been recently commended by NHS England/Improvement and Health Education England (HEE) in its response to the Mental Health Five Year Forward View and HEE workforce growth target. The plan was developed in partnership with NHS and non-NHS providers, commissioners and STP leads and will now be used as an exemplar plan regionally.

The Apprenticeship Funding application process has reopened this month, inviting applications from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS health and care organisations seeking funds for apprenticeship training. This scheme offers a fantastic opportunity to upskill the current workforce and new recruits. Organisations are keen to accept applications that support any of the following areas - Nursing, Physiotherapy, Leadership and Management, Digital, Pharmacy, Psychology, Advanced Clinical Practice, Mental Health, Peer Support, Public Health and Prevention, Health and Wellbeing and Healthcare Scientists. 

Finally, the redeployment service continues to provide support and guidance to members of staff at risk of redundancy across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, seeking suitable alternative employment wherever possible. To date the service has co-ordinated the successful redeployments of more than 150 members of staff and have saved the NHS over £4m in redundancy costs.