A changing health economy landscape

SFH-graphic[1] The health economy is changing and the NHS must adapt or miss the mark.

“It is estimated that the demand for services could grow by around 4% per year by 2015.”

“If we were to continue to deliver services in the same way that we do today, we would quite simply fail the population as the system struggled to cope. The quality of outcome for the individual and their family would inevitably decline.”

The above quote from Transforming Your Care (TYC) 2011 is a powerful statement of why change has to happen in the NHS. But it must be the right change if we are to ensure the sustainability of a public health service, not just in Northern Ireland, but UK-wide.

Further pressure comes from an ageing HSC workforce. Around 28 per cent of the Northern Ireland healthcare workforce is due to retire in 10-15 years. Add to this the mounting financial and organisational pressures the HSC is under.

“The choice is stark: it is not principally about money but about sustainability and clinical evidence. The conclusion is clear: plan and manage the transition or accept a more haphazard set of changes. In this regard, there are no neutral decisions.”

At Skills for Health, we have a proven track record in helping organisations to adapt and thrive. We are a not-for-profit charity whose purpose is to help healthcare employers deliver better patient care through improving quality, productivity and workforce development.

Being the UK Sector Skills Council for Health means our expertise in understanding the complexities and challenges around implementing change is recognised. We are ideally placed to assist your organisation through the change process.

Skills for Health has developed an innovative approach to role redesign which begins by asking the key questions: What do patients need? What services are needed? What skills or competences will deliver high standard services in the most economical way?

With clinicians, researchers, and workforce specialists in our teams, we can work with your organisation to map services and care pathways. Describing and defining the competences needed in clear, objective terms, we use standards of competence that are nationally recognised. These are agreed by experts and demonstrate the best practice to identify better ways of maximising all of the skills of the workforce. It’s a matter of pride that we enable organisations to work in ways that are freed from traditional staffing structures, resulting in better motivated staff, maximising efficiency and excellent care for patients.

In addition, Skills for Health provides online tools including e-rostering and e-learning solutions. As the largest provider of e-learning to the health sector in the UK, we are deeply committed to sharing our skills and expertise with the organisations we support.

This commitment means that we actively encourage skills transfer throughout the course of our business relationships, enhancing our clients’ capabilities and capacity to sustain workforce development into the future.

To find out how Skills for Health has supported UK health providers establish and deploy new roles see

John Rogers, CEO of Skills for Health, says: “We are passionate about developing internal capacity for workforce planning and role/service redesign to ensure Northern Ireland best meet needs of patients and maximise operational efficiencies. We believe our approach can specifically help HSC organisations meet aims and objectives of TYC.”

As your industry’s Sector Skills Council, we are here to help.

For more information on Skills for Health, please contact: Ed Tickler, Director for Northern Ireland. Email:

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