Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future

Health Education England | June 2018 | The Topol Review Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future

Health Education England (HEE) has published its interim report on preparing the healthcare workforce for future developments. The review is considering four key questions:

  1.  How are technological (genomics, digital medicine, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics) and other developments likely to change the roles and functions
    of clinical staff and their support in all professions over the next two decades?
  2. What are the implications of these changes for the skills required?
  3. For which professions or sub-specialisms are these likely to be particularly significant?
  4.  What does this mean for the selection, curricula, education, training, development and lifelong learning of current and future NHS staff?
Preparing the healthcare workforce
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Based on its work so far, HEE’s Review is proposing three key principles, which should govern the NHS’s future workforce strategy, these are: 
• Patients: If willing and able to do so, will be empowered by new tools to become more actively involved and engaged in their care. The patient generated data will be interpreted by algorithms enabling personalised self-management and self-care.
• Evidence: The introduction of any technology must be grounded in robust research evidence and a fit for purpose and ethical governance framework that patients, public and staff can all trust.
• Gift of time: Whenever possible, the adoption of technology should be used to give more time for care, creating an environment in which the patient-clinician relationship is enhanced.

The Interim Report June 2018- A Call for Evidence is at HEE 

Ten steps towards a new plan for the NHS in England

Ten steps towards a new plan for the NHS in England | NHS Confederation

The Confederation is calling for a national conversation about what we want and can expect from the health service in England over the next ten years.   It proposes ten actions which would underpin specific priorities for a new plan.

Full document: Ten steps towards a new plan for the NHS in England

ten steps
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The health and social care interface

The health and social care interface | National Audit Office

There is widespread consensus among health and social care professionals, the NHS and policy-makers in government that the changing needs of the population require changes to the way health and social care services are organised and delivered.

This ‘think piece’ highlights the barriers that prevent health and social care services working together effectively, examples of joint working in a ‘whole system’ sense and the move towards services centred on the needs of the individual. The report aims to inform the ongoing debate about the future of health and social care in England. It anticipates the upcoming green paper on the future funding of adult social care, and the planned 2019 Spending Review, which will set out the funding needs of both local government and the NHS.

The report presents and discusses 16 challenges to improved joint working. It also highlights some of the work being carried out nationally and locally to overcome these challenges and the progress that has been made.

Report – The health and social care interface

Press release – The health and social care interface

‘Workforce crisis’ in Cancer Services

Clinical oncology UK workforce census 2017 report| The Royal College of Radiologists

The clinical oncology UK workforce census report provides a unique profile of the clinical oncology workforce in the UK. This years’ figures highlight the ongoing workforce shortages putting consultants and department under intense pressure. The key findings show that:

  • Demand for cancer services continues to outstrip the workforce supply
  • Increased pressure on services mean that time allocated to supporting professional activities is being erroded, potentially impacting on the quality of services
  • Training numbers are insufficient to replenish the current shortages in the workforce
  • Experienced oncologists are being lost from the workforce through retirements.

Full report: Clinical oncology UK workforce census 2017 report

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Innovation in Medicine 2018: Government must double number of medical students

Royal College of Physicians | June 2018 | Innovation in Medicine 2018: Government must double number of medical students

A new policy briefing, Double or quits: calculating how many more medical students we need , from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP)  outlines new calculations for the number of doctors needed, and sets out the key issues facing workforce planning in the UK that affect current supply, future service demand and predicted losses in the workforce. The RCP  has called on the government to double the number of medical school places from 7,500 to 15,000 to meet the needs of tomorrow’s patients (Source: RCP). 

Double or nothing
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The briefing paper is available to read here 
The new release is accessible from RCP




UK needs a coherent approach to the recruitment of international doctors

The UK urgently needs a joined-up approach to recruitment of international doctors, according to BMJ editorial. 


An editorial in The BMJ, suggests that the UK government’s decision to review the visa regime for international doctors is “a rare glimmer of common sense in an issue that has been more usually characterised by national policy incoherence.”

However, they warn that the “underlying problems of the UK approach to international recruitment of health professionals” remains to be “acknowledged and addressed.”

These problems “owe much to a debilitating mix of conflicting policy goals and inadequate national health workforce planning and funding,” they explain. “This has led to a long-term ‘stop-go’ approach to international recruitment of doctors and other health professionals, which has often been misaligned with domestic health workforce and immigration policies.”

The article recommends more effective working between the Home Office and Department of Health to ensure that international recruitment is “fair and consistent”.

Full article: Buchan, J. & Charlesworth, A. | International rescue | BMJ  | 13th June 2018

See also: Joined-up approach needed to recruit overseas doctors | OnMedica


Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives

This progress report provides an update on the work that Health Education England (HEE) has completed with partners including the British Medical Association,  the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the General Medical Council over the past year in response to the concerns doctors in training have raised and to help boost morale (HEE).

Enhancing junior doctors working lives
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The full report is available to download from HEE

The press release from HEE can be read here