The biggest challenges currently facing the NHS are those relating to the implications of the NHS Health and Social Care Bill.
Whilst the Bill is not due to become law until later in 2011, the SPF is engaging in discussions and planning for potential outcomes, without prejudice, to ensure that we and the NHS are prepared for the workforce implications.
Our work focuses on four priority areas:
1. Supporting staff through change and transfer
Whilst the numbers of staff affected by the proposed change programmes and the types of staff transfers set out in the NHS White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS are still to be confirmed, we believe it is essential that staff are informed, engaged and supported throughout the transition process.
2. Workforce implications of Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme
The Government's White Paper outlines its commitment to ensuring that QIPP continues to support the NHS to make efficiency savings, which can be reinvested back into the service to continually improve quality of care.
3. Staff morale and engagement
With the proposed changes in the NHS, it is essential that staff engagement, morale and health and well-being remain a priority to ensure that NHS staff are engaged, valued, healthy and in a position to continue to deliver high-quality services.
4. Strengthening partnership
Partnership working is key to delivering priorities across the NHS and the SPF has worked hard over the last few years to embed partnership working on a local and regional basis. Looking to the future, our aim is to continue to develop new models of partnership working under the proposed new architecture of the NHS.
5. Responding to issues
In addition to our pre-planned programme of work, the Social Partnership Forum also responds to other priorities facing the NHS as new issues emerge. Recent work has included supporting the NHS through the flu pandemic and tackling healthcare and associated infections.