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Appendix 2 - workforce planning

Download the full Fit for 2020 - Report from the NHS Digital Capability Review

Technical Architecture
Cyber Security
Business Analysis
Software Development / Systems Engineering
Digital Services Delivery Profession
Data Management

We are now using an extensive dataset to inform our workforce planning, under four main quadrants:

  • Size - resources needed to deliver strategic objectives
  • Shape - composition of the workforce, both structure and demographic mix
  • Capabilities - knowledge, skills and abilities aligned to professions
  • Location - physical location of resources.

Our workforce is managed through professional groups, the largest of which is Project and Programme Delivery, as shown here:

Workforce-professionsArtboard 1-800

We keep the groups under continual review, and have recently merged a number of them into a new group - Implementation and Business Change, to reinforce the need for outward-facing and customer-focussed behaviours. We have challenges in reconciling demand against supply for a number of these groups which are critical for our delivery commitments. The assessments and our proposals are summarised below.

Major gaps exist in the capacity and capability within this profession. The external labour market supply is scarce in Leeds. The future for this profession looks distinctly different with a change to an Enterprise-wide Architecture approach. There is a growth in requirements for more strategically focussed architects which are hard to 'home grow', with less assurance type architects being needed. An analysis of the profession to the future strategy and direction emerging from the Capability Review is needed.

If no action is taken to develop and recruit the new capabilities required, whilst finding alternative futures for those people whose skills and behaviours don't fit the new capabilities required, there is a risk that the critical expertise of the Technical Architect will be missing from many of the delivery teams for Personalised Health and Care 2020 and other priority deliveries.

These skills are in short supply, and, given our role in the wider health and care system, are necessary and will continue to become more critical over time. This has been highlighted by the Delivery workstream of the Capability Review. Cyber security roles are part of the Information Assurance professional group. A significant recruitment campaign added focus to gaining the necessary supply, which was acknowledged by the Delivery Workstream. The time to fill posts in this Profession exceeds the average, at 75 days.

We are:

  • considering the professional grouping of Cyber Security and Information Governance as one profession
  • identifying alternative attraction approaches (using industry specific channels) and more dynamic routes to source capabilities and specialist services at pace and scale
  • reviewing our recruitment approach, including the use of generic job descriptions and targeted role profiles to allow targeted recruitment of specific cyber skillsets required and a separate career structure for people who want to focus on technical rather than managerial careers

There is little immediate or short term capacity to meet incoming resource requests. Demand outstrips supply not just in terms of numbers but also in respect of the particular capability and skills required e.g. requests are being made for Business Analysts with agile or technical expertise which is currently only available within a small subset of the profession.

We are:

  • assessing how the profession needs to adapt to support digital delivery and identify appropriate external training options, and are also considering the impacts of merging this group with the benefits management group

Access to clinical resource to support delivery from a design and safety assurance perspective was raised as an area of concern in the Delivery workstream of the Capability Review.

Access to resources internally is limited and there is a major gap between supply and demand. Other NHS organisations offer higher pay bands than we do. Traditionally this role is undertaken by retired GPs which brings issues regarding skills maintenance. A recent recruitment campaign has taken place where we used an assessment centre. Interest was very positive and all vacancies have been successfully filled which is a reasonable indicator that the capability exists out there in the wider workforce.

Clinical as a set of skills, however, is on the critical list for our organisation. If we don't provide the necessary capability we will be unable to assure our internal services and external service offering.

Actions currently being considered include:

  • investigate streamline pay banding with other NHS partners
  • consider how to recruit clinical professions to work with us whilst maintaining their clinical registration and regulation out in the wider health and social care system

Gaps in expertise exist in strategic sourcing skills, analytical skills and legal capacity. The banking sector is a key competitor for skills. 15% of the resources available are interim resources, which is similar to private sector organisations. The structure of the workforce is unsustainable with significantly more senior people than junior in commercial, and in procurement not enough senior people. There is difficulty recruiting and retaining these skills. High recent attrition has been attributed to the challenge with morale.

A bigger inhouse capability is required for cost effective operations and risk management, potentially an extra 3 people are needed to assist with the novation of c150 DH contracts to NHS Digital, both for short term transition and ongoing management and potential litigation. The recruitment plan addresses a shortfall in legal resources, due to disaggregation of contracts, to manage external contracts and switch to local advisory panel, as well as provide internal advice, provide quality assurance and support contract management.

We are:

  • reviewing of recruitment approach, including the use of generic job descriptions and targeted role profiles
  • considering dedicated resource to manage outsourced contract to SBS
  • using incoming recruitment to uplift capability and balance the team's skill mix
  • aligning recruitment process with improved Commercial operating model
  • creating clear training plan, career path, supported by professional qualifications

There is a lack in capability and capacity in this profession currently. Staff and assignment managers within the profession need to adapt to new ways of working for example, people have been assigned to programmes for 3-4 years, this needs changing to 6 months. Attrition in this profession is healthy. Graduate recruitment is an effective source of talent, and a preferred approach is to recruit people with the aptitude to learn and then develop their skills internally. There is a challenge to persuade assignment managers to take more junior skilled staff rather than buying in the specific skills needed.

We are:

  • reviewing the recruitment process to make this more flexible
  • addressing the cultural challenges with staff and assignment managers through new ways of working

This profession has been newly created in response to an identified business need specifically to meet our digital commitments. Whilst we have an abundance of traditional technology skillsets, there is a distinct lack of agile culture and capability to meet digital product delivery needs, and also linked to our marketing and engagement strategy. There is limited senior leadership capability and limited staff at junior bands to enable long term succession planning. The profession is currently recruiting and giving placements to the current cohort of our and the government's fast stream graduate programmes. The key capabilities needed are user research/user experience/design/product manager/content/delivery management. There are limited opportunities for people to be promoted or increase their salary.

We are:

  • creating specific job descriptions/role profiles to allow targeted recruitment of specific digital skillsets required and a separate career structure for people who want to focus on technical rather than managerial careers
  • identifying target groups and priority candidates for development of these skillsets, define opportunities, create digital bootcamps and provide tailored training and coaching
  • identifying external supplier to create capability matrix to be used to identify what's required and to assess existing skills of the profession against

This professional group is at the start of a significant professional development both with the implementation of the internal Data Management Specialist Services review and the development of the Data Science roles within this group. Recruitment is now underway for both Data Managers and the organisation's first Data Scientists. The Head of Profession is also the delivery lead for Data Science. The profession is at an early stage in its maturity, both in terms of the establishment of the profession career management and professional development structures, and its ability to respond to immediate resourcing requests.

The professional group is involved in the strategic workforce planning activity currently being managed as part of the Information and Analytics transformation programme.

We are:

  • developing appropriate entry-level assessment model as part of the current recruitment activity for this profession
  • establishing links to the universities in key cities linked to organisation bases, including Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool
Last edited: 21 May 2019 1:57 pm