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Learning from the vanguards: staff at the heart of new care models

This briefing looks at what the vanguards set out to achieve when it comes to involving and engaging staff in the new care models. It highlights the work some of the vanguards have been doing and shares the lessons that other organisations and partnerships can take from the vanguards’ experiences.

Transformational change is not easy, and the engagement of all parts of the system involved in developing and delivering new models of care within the vanguards has been fundamental to their success. This includes putting the workforce at the heart of the change. The Five year forward view (the Forward view), recognised that to achieve sustainable improvements in the long term, fundamental changes are needed to the way health and care services are delivered, which involves staff working in different ways.

Historically, the NHS and local government has approached the workforce from the perspective of single organisations, rather than viewing the future health and care needs of local people and what skills will be needed to support them across the system. The focus has tended to be on short-term requirements – such as focusing on getting the right number of training places for the near-term rather than the skills and workforce models to meet future needs. The enormous challenge in tackling
long-term workforce needs has also meant it has been put in the ‘too difficult’ box and left for another year to solve.