What’s Workforce Planning & the HEE Mandate to do with the PPN?

What’s Workforce Planning & the HEE Mandate to do with the PPN?

Its good to be back following pre-election ‘purdah’ and although we've been quiet on social media a lot has been happening. 

Most notably we had the PPN Workforce Board Away Day where we considered how to work with Health Education North West (HENW) to bring psychological approaches and the psychological professions into the mainstream of workforce planning. Mike Burgess, who leads the workforce planning team at HENW, gave a really informative presentation that explained the annual planning cycle that his team are responsible for coordinating.  

It’s fair to say that workforce planning is one of those things that the clinicians in the room had not given much thought to until Mike arrived, but with his help the importance of having input at a local, regional and national level became very clear.

The annual workforce planning cycle is the process by which the projections and gaps in the NHS workforce are quantified and opportunities for development – informed by the Health Education England (HEE) Mandate (more of which shortly) - are identified. This informs the budget for HENW and shapes the commissioning of education and development of the workforce in the northwest for the coming year, the next five years and looking forward to the strategic vision for the NHS in 15 years 

If you haven’t heard of the Health Education England Mandate it’s worth a read. Chapter Four is dedicated to Mental Health and sets out the NHS priorities and the ‘deliverables’ expected of HENW and the other LETBs across England for the coming year.

So what are the headlines for mental health?

  • Perinatal mental health training available so that specialist mental health skills are available in every birthing unit by 2017.
  • Dementia awareness and skills training across the workforce.
  • Improved mental health skills available within A&E and the development of liaison psychiatry
  • Continued development of IAPT including leadership skills, choice of therapy and waiting time standards for early intervention for psychosis
  • Improving skills of the workforce for working with people with a learning disability, with a focus on autism
  • Supporting the improvement of services for Children and Young People and the NHS England pilots of services for eating disorders
  • Development of criminal justice liaison and diversion services to ensure 100% coverage by 2017
  • Improving exposure to mental health and psychiatry for doctors in training and GPs with specialist interest in mental health.
  • Training to support the implementation of new access and waiting time standards across mental health services

So what does this mean for the PPN?

Well, we have been invited to contribute directly into the HENW workforce planning process by informing the ‘narrative’ of the framework, helping with sense checking and proactively contributing to the agenda for parity of esteem and responding to the deliverables the HHE Mandate. Over the coming year we’ll be working with Mike and his team, the PPN workforce board and our network membership to ask for help with gathering intelligence on the mandate themes. So if you get an email from us do take a a couple of minutes to have a read and contribute if you can.

Also, because this whole area is new to most clinical leads and service managers, we are planning a workshop with the HENW workforce planning team and the Centre for Professional Workforce Development in September 2015. We’ll be encouraging workforce board members, service managers and clinical leads to work with us on this … so again watch your email and the PPN newsletter for further details of how to take part.

This is a great opportunity for PPN to start to build long-term systemic influence, and for psychological clinicians, educators and researchers to strengthen the reality of parity of esteem in the North West. So if you’ve never given workforce planning a thought until now perhaps this will wet your appetite!


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