RCoA responds to the NHS Confederation consultation defining the role of integrated care systems in workforce development

As the focus of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships shifts naturally to population health, increased responsibility for ICSs in local workforce decisions seems a logical evolution to ensure that the services they provide reflect the regional demographics and meet the needs of local populations.

However devolvement of workforce decisions to ICSs must happen in a considered and co-ordinated manner and we have made the following recommendations in our response:

  • There should be mechanisms, oversight and accountability to ensure that the workforce plans of ICSs align to national workforce plans and policy. While it is sensible that ICSs should have more control over aspects of recruitment locally, a centralised, co-ordinated approach to workforce planning at national level remains essential, in particular to ensure a steady increase in the number of trainees for the benefit of all ICSs and regions so that they can secure adequate staffing levels long term.
  • ICS leaders should maintain strong links with Medical Royal Colleges to ensure uniform standards for recruitment and training across all regions are maintained throughout the change in processes required to move to integrated systems.
  • Amongst the type of data that ICSs will need to use and collect to make informed decisions on local recruitment, data on the experience and outcomes of patients going through secondary care should be collected to make the case and demonstrate the benefits of perioperative care pathways, which reduce postoperative complications and promote adoption of healthier lifestyles. Recruitment decisions should include consideration of the staffing levels and skills required to support perioperative care pathways.

You can read the full response here

30 April 2019