Producing a North West wide Neonatal workforce baseline
The North West Neonatal Operational Delivery Network (NWODN) commissioned the WRaPT team via Health Education England to produce a baseline report of the neonatal workforce capacity across the region.
The brief of the assignment was to analyse the structure and skill mix of the neonatal units / services (including the dedicated workforce that contributes to care within Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU’s), Local Neonatal Units (LNU’s) and Special Care Baby Units (SCBU’s) with age profiles.
The aim of this to enable the network to understand their workforce challenges such as where staff shortages may occur in the future and whether the skill mix could be changed by introducing new and different ways of working
The scope of the work extended to all 18 provider organisations from across the region covering 21 sites in total.
The roles identified that were to be included in the baseline were: Nursing, Medical, dedicated Ancillary staff, Admin and Clerical roles and any Allied Health Professions contributing to neonatal activity. Additionally, Vacancy and Bank and Agency usage data was collated.
The baseline collection was deemed to be a challenge due to the number of organisations involved as well as requesting data for a small service that usually forms part of a bigger paediatric service.
Medical staff due to the way they operate, are not generally dedicated to the neonatal unit and only work a small number of hours for the service, therefore challenging to apportion time to cover of the units.
For both Vacancy and Bank and Agency data, recording varies between Trusts. Data for these types of information is not always held on a central recording system and there are some organisations that are unable to track the volume of these at a small service level, therefore trying to collate consistent data would be tricky.
In addition, identifying the correct IG contacts and getting sign off of the agreements can be time consuming and impact on timeframes.