Learning to support and engage an integrated workforce

09 January 2023

Staff are at the centre of our collective ambition for greater integration and better care integrated care systems (ICSs) have a central role to play in delivering the vision for our ‘one workforce’ – NHS England

GGI has partnered with MaST Evolution – specialists in creating motivating, innovative methods of achieving change – to bring together our knowledge and areas of expertise with their skills and expertise to enhance how we can better support ICSs.

As part of this relationship we’re convening a special panel event on Wednesday 18 January, from 8.30 – 9.30 on Zoom to explore workforce learning, engagement and support in ICSs.

What good looks like

The success of integrated care systems (ICSs) will depend heavily on how they communicate with, engage, develop and support a vast workforce spread across many partner organisations.

In September 2021, NHS England published a paper Building strong integrated care systems everywhere: guidance on the ICS people function. The paper details the 10 outcomes-based people functions that integrated care boards (ICBs) are responsible for delivering:

  • supporting the health and wellbeing of all staff
  • growing the workforce for the future and enabling adequate workforce supply
  • supporting inclusion and belonging for all, and creating a great experience for staff
  • valuing and supporting leadership at all levels, and lifelong learning
  • leading workforce transformation and new ways of working
  • educating, training and developing people, and managing talent
  • driving and supporting broader social and economic development
  • transforming people services and supporting the people profession
  • leading coordinated workforce planning using analysis and intelligence
  • supporting system design and development.

One workforce

NHS England and the Department for Health and Social Care’s expectation is that ICBs take a ‘one workforce’ approach, which means that when we talk about ICS workforce we mean that of NHS providers, primary care, the ICB, local authorities, VCSE providers and others involved in the system.

How ICBs create ‘one-workforce’ cohesion and identity in their systems will be key. One ICS chair called integrated care a social movement, which is a great way of thinking about the scale of alignment and involvement. The first challenge for most ICSs will be building a level of understanding of the system across the system – what it is, what its aims are, where decisions are made, what it means to me.

A moment of opportunity

Over the past two years GGI has been working closely with 14 of the 42 ICSs in England, supporting them with their establishment and development. We can see firsthand the opportunity that integrated care presents, and the key role workforce plays in this.

Making that ‘one-team’ sense real will be essential if systems are to collaborate effectively and genuinely integrate services. They will need to foster a hive mind. All this at a time of great operational pressure on a workforce that’s exhausted, underresourced, unwell, and struggling to both retain and recruit. It’s a big but critical challenge.

Learning from different sectors – join the conversation

Our panel event takes place on Wednesday 18 January, from 8.30 – 9.30 on Zoom. We will explore workforce learning, engagement and support in ICSs.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, former First Sea Lord of the Royal British Navy, will relay his experience of engaging on the frontline as it were from his military days and what lessons there are from that for ICSs.

Katy Baboulene, Clinical Director of Psychology Sussex, will discuss workforce burnout and trauma and how best to support and make engagement work most effectively in this context.

Edna Boampong, Director of Communications and Engagement at Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System, will give her view of this challenge and how it is playing out in her ICS.

Francesca Hunt, Managing Director of MaST, will be sharing MaST’s knowledge and experience drawn from their work over the last 10 years supporting big organisations, across different sectors around the world with achieving lasting behaviour and culture change.

The event will be chaired by Cathy Elliott, Chair of West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board.

Find out more or register for the event.

Getting support

Learning, developing and supporting the workforce is a strategic priority for all systems. Driving towards a collective purpose, giving life to the system, and creating a one-workforce approach will require focused effort.

GGI and MaST have the expertise and tools to support with this. If you’re interested in how we can help, let's have a conversation.

Meet the author: Daniel Taylor

Engagement Consultant

Find out more

Prepared by GGI Development and Research LLP for the Good Governance Institute.

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