Policy Forum for Wales

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Next steps for the health and social care workforce in Wales - The next phase of the Welsh Government’s strategy | Recruitment | Retention | Wellbeing | Training | Diversity | Support | Coordination | Service quality and delivery | Inspection

June 2023

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

This conference discussed priorities for the health and social care workforce in Wales.

It was a timely opportunity to examine the review of the Government’s Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care, which is due in 2023. Delegates assessed the implementation of the strategy since its publication in 2018, and how best to carry lessons learned so far into the next stage.

Stakeholders and policymakers considered key issues affecting the workforce, including:

  • recruitment, retention, staff development and wellbeing
  • diversity and inclusivity, and the changing composition of the workforce
  • long-term training priorities, including for digital health services and new technology, and addressing opportunities missed due to the pandemic
  • serving the future needs of the health and care system

Delegates looked at next steps in implementing the wider Healthier Wales strategy, and its whole-system model, focused on preventing illness and reducing reliance on hospital admissions in favour of delivering integrated health and care services close to home.

We also expected discussion on next steps for the development of the National Care Service as part of the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

The agenda included a case study on supporting international medical graduates in Wales, and looking at how workforce support and recruitment strategies can adapt to the evolving composition of the workforce.

Overall, areas for discussion in the agenda included:

  • workforce strategy: learning from prior implementation - areas for improvement - the challenges of a more combined workforce - moving into the next stage of the strategy - responding to future requirements
  • staffing needs: whole-system approaches to staffing gaps, pay, conditions and esteem - provision of support, training and staff development - developing leadership in the health and care service
  • care quality: delivering safe staffing levels - planning for service delivery to continue meeting needs into the future - priorities for standards and inspection - tackling the impact of missed inspections during COVID
  • innovation: developing digital health services - training and engagement with staff to promote adoption of new systems - what is needed to achieve an integrated technological infrastructure

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote contributions from Rebecca Jewell, Head of Strategy, Policy and Engagement, Health Inspectorate Wales; Maria Chatters, Regional Liaison Adviser, GMC Wales; Angie Oliver, Deputy Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, HEIW; and Jon Day, Assistant Director, Social Care Wales. The chair for the conference is Russell George MS, Chair, Health and Social Care Committee.

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the Welsh Government; Health Inspectorate Wales; Senedd Wales; DHSC; DWP; and HMPPS.

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles