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Health and care leaders set out plans to develop, retain, and recruit staff for Sussex

A plan to help develop, retain, and recruit healthcare staff across Sussex has been approved for action.

Earlier this year, Sussex health and care leaders set that growing and supporting our health and care workforce was one of three long-term areas of improvement, and last week, a five-year action plan was agreed.

The commitment is clear – health and care partners want to support staff and volunteers to do the best job they can by growing and developing the workforce across Sussex.

The number of people working in health and care has grown, and we need to carry on increasing staff numbers, but recruiting more staff is not the only answer.

The Sussex People Plan – a supporting document of the five-year improvement plan (Our Plan for our Population) sets out how partners will make improvements.

All partners within the Sussex Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS) are signed-up to the plan, including local VCSE and community groups.

The plan has been developed together and supports the aims of NHS England’s national NHS Long Term Workforce plan. Together, it will address:

  • Staff retention – overwork, burnout, and sickness among the workforce, resulting in high staff turnover.
  • Recruitment – the inability to fill vacancies resulting in skills and capacity gaps in the workforce.
  • Development – difficulties in supporting staff, inhibiting skills development, and progression in the workforce.There are five objectives we want to achieve:
  • Developing a ‘one team’ approach across health and care so they can work together and across different areas to help local people get the support and care they need.
  • We want to support staff to develop new skills and expand the skills they have to allow them to work across different disciplines and areas. We also want to help staff to have more opportunities to progress in their careers.
  • We want to create a more inclusive working environment that recognises diversity and has a workforce that better represents the population they care for.
  • We want to encourage, and make it easier for, more young people, students, and people who have never considered a career in health and care, to work with us.
  • We want to create a culture where people feel valued and supported to develop their skills and expertise. We want to take a ‘lifelong learning’ approach where people never stop developing their skills throughout their career.

Mark Smith, Chief People Officer at NHS Sussex, said: “We are pleased to share our first People Plan, which has been written with colleagues and partners from across our system, and is designed to improve lives together for colleagues working and volunteering within our system. I thank them all for their help and contributions.

“It is fair to say that the recent past has been extraordinary for health and care, which has further proven the fantastic skill and dedication of our people. Without the people who work across health and care in Sussex, we would not be able to provide care for our patients and services users, who often need us at very challenging times in their lives, and for that, we thank you.

“We believe that this plan improve these colleagues’ experience of work, which will lead to better outcomes and experiences for patients and services users.”

Read the People Plan or watch the video below for an overview of how we’re planning to protect our workforce:


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