Step four of the methodology, developed by Skills for Health's workforce projects team, involves describing the existing workforce in the areas under consideration, its existing skills and deployment, and assessing any problem areas arising from its age profile or turnover.
Users creating a workforce plan will also need to forecast expected turnover, vacancies and recruitment patterns, and look at the factors that could affect these even without service change, for example the European working time directive. They also need to consider initiatives for retention, retraining, recruitment and redeployment, and how these can be realistically developed.
The workforce projects team has developed a range of resources and tools to help users with step four. These include the workforce supply tool, the service reconfiguration tool and the working time directive rota database.
More details are available at www.healthcareworkforce.nhs.uk