Health-sector employers must find new ways to utilise the skills of existing staff if they are to deliver greater productivity and higher quality care, says a new report from Skills for Health.
The UK-wide Sector Skills Assessment 2009/10 reviews the current and future skills needs of the health sector in the context of rising financial pressures, increasing patient expectations and growth in long-term conditions.
It says that while the sector enjoys a high skills base, employers urgently need to consider how these skills can be utilised more effectively as the sector enters a new period of financial restraint.
This should include greater focus on developing staff at the Career Framework levels 1 to 4, to enable registered practitioners to make full use of their competences.
Employers will also need high levels of management and leadership skills to facilitate the significant service changes ahead, the report adds.
Skills for Health Chief Executive John Rogers said: “Our assessment suggests that the emphasis will be very much on doing more within existing resources, which implies far more effective utilisation of staff skills.
“For example, we expect multidisciplinary team working to become more prevalent as employers develop new and more flexible working structures.”