Are you considering your healthcare workforce plans? The Six Steps Methodology to Integrated Workforce Planning can help.

Step three of the methodology, developed by Skills for Health's workforce projects team, focuses on defining the required workforce needed to deliver reconfigured services. This means workforce planners must consider which types of staff are best suited to carry out particular activities, which may lead to new roles and new ways of working.

Determining the types of people needed, as well as the numbers, is called establishing the "workforce demand". Planning the workforce demand has to be performed as part of wider service and financial planning processes. Therefore, to work out workforce demand, planners must consider their existing service model and the challenges of changing its deployment and skills.

Key tasks

This third part of the Six Steps Methodology takes users through the analysis of workforce demand. This involves evaluating activities by establishing the key tasks in the new service model, confirming the required numbers of staff and new ways of working, and assessing the costs of different possible skill mixes.

The workforce projects team has developed a range of resources and tools to help users with step three. These include the NHS benchmarking database, the hospital at night self-assessment tool and the UK-wide competence framework.

More details are available at www.healthcareworkforce.nhs.uk