As part of the development of the Northamptonshire Health, Care and Wellbeing Plan, NHCP workforce leads have been taking steps to ensure the right staff are in place to meet the future health and care needs of our communities.

Through engagement with key leads from across NHCP’s different areas of work, members of Northamptonshire’s Local Workforce Action Board (LWAB) have identified some priority needs which will require county-wide coordination for all organisations.

These include developing new roles and training existing NHS and social care staff to make sure we are properly equipped to deliver planned improvements to local services.

There is also a need for an overarching programme of workforce management to be in place across all areas of NHCP’s work, supporting that which takes place within individual organisations.

Alongside this, LWAB is progressing actions to tackle issues which already exist within our health and care workforce – including the need to address staff shortages in certain areas.

This work is detailed in a local workforce strategy aligned with the themes of the national NHS Interim People Plan, which sets a vision for how people working in the NHS will be supported to deliver care.

Key actions in our strategy, which will be published as part of the Northamptonshire Health, Care and Wellbeing Plan, include:

  • Make the NHS the best place to work: attracting a workforce to come and work in our health and care system to reduce our vacancy hotspots
  • Improve our leadership culture: investing in leadership development, particularly for those in roles working across Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership
  • Urgent Action on nursing shortages: working with the University of Northampton and other higher education institutions to attract student nurses to our county, while exploring options for campaigns such as international recruitment
  • Develop a workforce to deliver 21st century care: developing new roles, such as social prescribing link workers, and investing in health and care apprenticeships

To lead and coordinate this work, Catherine Wills has been appointed to the role of NHCP assistant director for workforce, building on the progress which is already being made to strengthen the workforce within Northamptonshire’s GP practices and Primary Care Networks.

Catherine Wills

Catherine (pictured right) will work under the direction of Mark Smith and Chris Oakes, joint workforce leads for NHCP, and Julie Curtis, director of primary and community integration at Northamptonshire CCGs.