Presidents Blog - Network Issue 10

Thoughts from the workforce summit

Last week I went to the workforce summit in Liverpool organised by NHS Employers. This year it was part of the NHS Confederation conference which recognised that 'the workforce', our people, are central to everything we do. Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers talked to us about the key strategic workforce challenges and the Five Year Forward View. He was joined by colleagues from the Department of Health, Health Education England and Capsticks. Some of the issues we debated were:

• Have we got the right focus on quality and safety?
• Have we got the right roles and skill mix to provide the healthcare of the future?
• Are we providing the right training to develop people?
• How do we maintain staff engagement and do we reward people appropriately?

I would encourage you to discuss these points with colleagues and ensure you consider these as part of your organisation's service and people strategies.

At the main conference Rob Webster, Chief Executive gave a rallying talk and some powerful stories about patient care as he stressed the importance of delivering on the challenges facing the NHS. He was also clear about the value that NHS leaders bring and I don't think I have heard a more sincere and clear 'thank you' to all the leaders and managers in the NHS. Without the people leaders, none of what we all do on a day-to-day basis could be done. So it's a big 'thank you' to Rob for such an inspiring and appreciative address to the conference.

He was followed by Simon Stevens who talked about a number of priorities. The one message that stuck with me was the pressing need to stop the growing rate of obesity. The time to act is now. It's shocking to hear about the number of children who are obese by the time they start primary school and how that number increases so much by the time they leave primary school. Simon's focus was on preventive medicine and wellbeing to improve the health of the nation and doing things differently to address the financial crisis.

As you know I am a great advocate of fitness and keeping our workforce healthy. I was very conscious that as I was staying near to the conference I didn't have far to travel and walking between the conference sessions and exhibition was hardly any distance. I was wearing my 'Pulse' for the 'Global Corporate Challenge' and was shocked to see that I had only done about 3,000 steps during one day when I normally do about 12K plus on a normal day. It makes you realise if people drive to work and then sit in meetings or at a desk and then go home and watch TV they get very little exercise. This is such a sedentary way of life and it's storing up trouble for individuals and the health service. So please try and walk a bit if this is what your normal day looks like. It's also good for your mental wellbeing and your performance at work.

After a full couple of busy and instructive days in Liverpool I came back to London to move house! Having spent the last three days unpacking boxes and sorting and cleaning and organising I think I've had my physical activity. I squeezed in a quick swim which was much needed to stretch and relax.

It's not long now till our event of the year, the HPMA Awards night. It's getting exciting now and I hope to see you all there. In the meantime, have a great week.

Best wishes

This issue brings you a round-up from our UK Conference in Manchester last month with articles fr

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