Despite real improvement against waiting list and waiting times, the NHS faces a challenge in managing services in the face of an unprecedented rise in demand for its services.
To assist organisations take control of these challenges, NHS Improvement and NHS England are launching a three year Demand and Capacity Trainer Programme which will help staff to develop the skills to:
• Quantify the scale of the mismatch between capacity and demand in services;
• Help reduce RTT and waiting list problems;
• Help eliminate inefficiencies and use resources effectively;
• Improve patient experience;
• Help create plans that are deliverable; and
• Share the knowledge with relevant colleagues.
The Trainer Programme is part of the expert support offered by the NHS National Demand and Capacity Programme and aims to create a cohort of 300 – 400 graduates, who can in turn train and support colleagues in other disciplines.
The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust was one of the NHS services which took part in the pilot Trainer Programme last year.
They found unexpected benefits from using the demand and capacity modelling and the accompanying training. Not only have they managed to improve patient care, reduce waiting times and meet government targets for elective services; using the modelling in their skin cancer clinics enabled them to identify that much better attendance rates could be achieved by seeing patients within a week, rather than within the 14 day target. They now have an aspiration to see patients within seven days.
“The NHS is at a critical juncture. The pressure of significant and sustained increases in demand for some services, coupled with the strain on public sector finances, is creating real and substantial challenges for local NHS leaders. They need to be able to not only deliver for today, but create a strong platform on which they can transform services for tomorrow. “The National Demand and Capacity Programme acts as a catalyst for change; equipping local NHS Managers, NHS providers and commissioners, with the knowledge and skills they need”, says Paul Stroner, Deputy Director of Information and Analytics, NHS Improvement and lead for the National Demand and Capacity Programme.
The National Demand and Capacity Programme, set up in 2016, offers a wide range of online, classroom based and in-depth training programmes all free of cost, as well as demand and capacity models which local NHS providers can adapt for their services. It has already supported and trained over 1,700 NHS staff.
Over the next three years the Trainer Programme will run ten cohorts across the country.
Applications for the first cohort for NHS providers in London and south east England are open until 7 July, 2017.
More details about other areas in the country where the trainer programme is running are available on the link below.