Workforce crisis? It’s time for innovation.

December 18th 2018

The last word you want to associate with your workforce in your practice is crisis, yet for some time the NHS has been alluding to an “NHS staffing crisis”. Just take a look at some of these headlines:

“NHS suffering worst ever staff and cash crisis”

“NHS in England facing deepening staffing crisis”

“NHS reveals staffing crisis in new recruitment figures”

“NHS staff vacancies rise nearly 10% in three months amid unfolding ‘national emergency”, report shows”

Unfortunately, this is the reality facing partners and managers in general practice today. It is not just general practice, recruitment is also becoming increasingly difficult across all healthcare sectors.

It may come as no surprise that a third of 2600 doctors surveyed are seriously thinking of reducing their hours over the next three years (GMC). Increasing workloads, increasing demands from patients and generally not having enough time to do their job effectively are examples of reasons why so many are choosing to leave general practice. Another issue is Brexit; a large number of EU doctors are sceptical of the prime minister’s pledge to affirm the rights of the EU doctor and their families, should a no-deal Brexit occur. Therefore, a third of EU doctors are considering leaving the UK (GP Online).

But it is not just GPs that are feeling the pressure, question any member of staff who works in general practice and they will say they are constantly busy, be it nurses, administrators or receptionists, it is fair to say all staff have seen an increase for services in general pracitce. Many tasks are disseminated across the workforce in a bid to reduce the pressure on the clinical team, but sometimes this can be counterproductive as non-trained staff may need to revert back to the clinician for advice, potentially delaying recalls, reviews or referrals.

The NHS has changed considerably over the past 70 years, so too has general practice. But, has your practice changed? What options have you considered, have you got a diverse multidisciplinary team? Do you use allied health professionals effectively?

PCMS have extensive experience in workforce planning. At our own practices we use allied health professionals effectively ensuring our patient population can access the appropriate member of the team in a timely manner, ensuring they get the care they need, when they need it. PCMS can help your organisation by undertaking a workforce planning assessment to gauge your current position against the optimum level to achieve maximum potential and efficiency.

Let PCMS help your practice avoid a staffing crisis. Contact us today to see how we can help you help your patients, by leading change through innovation.