Health Alliance Meeting – 13th September

This month’s Health Alliance meeting was held at Cambourne Hub and was chaired by Sandie Smith and Sharon Allen.

From the work Sharon has been doing with the People Board a Workforce Development theme had been decided for this meeting and guests from the ICB were invited.

Rebecca Tuten- System Workforce Planner

Ade Tams- Deputy Chief People Officer/ Director of Workforce.

Emily Handley

Sharon gave an introduction on Workforce Development and discussed that data that is in the voluntary sector has not generally been aggregated although the Health Alliance have made a start on this. The NHS already have a good system for collecting their data. Because of the data from the voluntary sector is not included/ considered in planning this is not showing the whole system position.

Rebecca Tuten

The State of the Sector survey that came out recently is a useful first insight into voluntary sector. Is there a way that some of the data that is collected going forward able to match the data criteria that NHS are using? If so what do the voluntary sector feel is a realistic ask? What would be useful to both parties.

The Health Alliance members felt that some basic data would be useful but there needs to be recognition that

  • Not all organisations are commissioned.
  • Commissioners ask for data but where is it used?
  • The State of Sector survey did not get information from all of the voluntary sector and some are not involved in health or care.
  • The organisations need to build trust that the data they are sharing is useful/ needed and working to the benefit of all but particularly the service users.
  • What access to the data can the voluntary sector expect if they are contributing.

It was agreed that Sandie would do some work with Rebecca to see what would be a reasonable ask, how the data can be collected and used. It was agreed that “punchy statements” need to be written as to why organisations would be involved.


Ade Tams

Ade talked about the position of the ICS with vacancies. The hospitals use bank staff to fill some of the gaps with a small amount of agency staff- this is one of the lowest rates in England.

In primary care there has been a reduction of GPs by 6% but nursing staff has increased.

All PCNs are being asked how they plan to expand their services.

The ICB needs to understand how to encourage people to use the voluntary sector offer.

A 15 year forecast for workforce has been done but it does not include social care.


Emily Handley

Emily explained that work was being done with Anglia Ruskin University to help deliver a health and care workforce and 2 “attraction projects” are going to be delivered.

Just R– Sustainable workforce solutions- is a bolt on recruitment company. Some passive recruitment and expand the campaign to how to attract volunteers and to look at talent pools for organisation.

It was suggested that the new volunteering portal could benefit from this. Sandie will ensure that those developing the portal are aware of this opportunity.


Working and breaking barriers- a project based around employment to improve health outcomes. This aims to support people back into work or enable them to remain in work. There are 8 pilot areas.

Health Alliance members discussed higher vacancy rates than health locally, the reduction in volunteers and the changing face of volunteering and that the terms and conditions that NHS offer are difficult to match in the VCSE sector.

Ade talked about a pilot scheme to help with recruitment and retention. This is at phase 1 at present and a briefing is due. Phase 2 to cover shared/rotating roles. The HA will be kept informed. A new worker is about to start so Ade will ensure she is linked in with Sandie.

Ade confirmed that the VCSE sector would be very welcome partners in all of these initiatives.


Equality Diversity and Inclusion

Ade-Above Difference is a collaboration to discuss and look at discrimination with goal to produce culture change within the system and make it a safer place for all.

Sharon-Skills for Care are developing a social care Race Equality Scheme which maybe more relevant for the VCSE- this opens soon.

Kat (Barnardos) discussed the Maternity Equity Hub and the work that had been done to improve maternity experiences including looking at how staff recruitment took place. This has had some positive impacts and Kat will share a case study with Sharon to take to the People Board.

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