Workforce Development sponsored by Skills for Health

One of the many interesting features of the award entry from the DESMOND programme – diabetes education and self management for ongoing and newly diagnosed – is that it didn’t come from a trust or healthcare organisation.

The training and quality development programme is a product of the combined vision and energy of a multi-disciplinary group of healthcare professionals, academics and people living with diabetes, now pursuing a wider dissemination of its process and philosophy under the banner of the DESMOND collaborative. Something in the order of 400 “educators” – who facilitate patient training sessions – now deliver the structured education course at more than 70 trusts and organisations across the UK.

"While a lot of people working with us are getting the acknowledgement they deserve for their achievements across the organisations where they work," says Dr Marian Carey, programme national director, "we felt it would be good if we could get them some wider recognition. That is why we mentioned so many of their names in our submission."

"With so much to tell in such a short space of time at the presentation," she adds, "we supported the key elements of our message with visual material produced by our in-house graphics team."

"We weren’t sure, it being so foreign to anything else," Dr Carey continues, "if our entry would capture the judges' interest or they would even regard it as significant. But we had faith in the value of what we were doing and, even though I knew it was a prestigious award, I have been very pleasantly surprised by the attention the programme has since received."

What judges want:

  • Developing new strategic approaches to workforce planning
  • Demonstrating adaptability and innovation within workforce planning
  • Implementing a sustainable recruitment strategy
  • Establishing effective succession planning techniques to ensure workforce continuity
  • Embedding equality and diversity in workforce planning
  • Developing, promoting and demonstrating effective leadership
  • Successfully embedding the Knowledge and Skills Framework
  • Developing a multi-disciplinary workforce through training and enhanced skill mix
  • Identifying skill needs and implementing innovative solutions or new ways of learning
  • Building highly effective teams
  • New approaches to support continuing professional development and life long learning

New category

World class commissioning sponsored by the Department of Health

In December 2007, the Department of Health, together with the NHS launched the vision for world class commissioning – a document which sets out what it means to be world class – ‘adding life to years and years to life’ and identifies a set of organisational competencies needed to become world class commissioners.

Six months on and the programme to deliver world class commissioning is progressing at pace. It will be the key delivery vehicle to achieve improvements in health and well-being outcomes and reductions in health inequalities. The programme seeks to bring about a different approach to commissioning: one that is focused on outcomes and involves all partners including patients, public, local authorities, clinicians and providers in making tough choices about priorities and how to deliver them.

By delivering a more strategic, long-term and outcome focussed approach to commissioning, PCTs will radically transform the commissioning landscape in England and deliver an NHS which is equipped to address the main challenges of the 21st century; challenges which include, changing lifestyles, evolving demographics, and new patterns of service design.

This new world class commissioning category has been introduced to showcase organisations that are demonstrating progress towards world class standards. As key commissioning organisations, it will be PCTs, supported by SHAs, that will lead the work on delivering world class commissioning in a way that ensures the needs and priorities of the local population are met.

What judges want:

· strong leadership at all levels within the organisation, with a board that demonstrates a clear understanding and grip on the organisation’s long-term goals

· an understanding of the key health and well-being outcomes that will need to be achieved in the medium to long-term in order to best meet the needs of the local population and reduce inequalities

· a clear vision and long-term strategy for the improvement of health and well-being in their locality

· evidence of how the organisation has positioned itself as the leader of the local NHS and is respected by its community partners

· solid foundations in the world class commissioning competencies relating to partnership, specifically:

o strong relationships with key local partners, in particular the local authority

o good engagement between managers and clinical/medical staff

o meaningful engagement with the public and patients

· understanding of the importance of and progress in achieving the other commissioning competencies, such as seeking and applying innovation, knowledge and best practice

· improvements in commissioning at all levels within the organisation, including where appropriate practice based commissioning and joint commissioning

· an understanding of where they are on the journey towards world class and how much further they have to go

· commitment and leadership potential to share their experience and expertise and support development in others