HSJ Webinar in association with NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit: The NHS workforce in a new world
Now available on demand

As the immediate demands of the covid pandemic begin to recede, the NHS will need to assess what the future looks like and what changes made during this time will be embedded in “business as usual” as it moves forward.

Many of its workforce will have been delivering care virtually at least part of the time since March 2020. Others – primarily in non-clinical roles - will have been working from home. Some of these changes seem set to persist but in a more managed and focused way.

This may mean staff need additional skills and training to maximise the benefits of this way of working and help the NHS get the best out of the staff it has. Current staff are likely to be the mainstay of the NHS going forward as money to employ large numbers of extra staff is likely to be limited.

This HSJ webinar was held on Wednesday 19 May and run in association with the NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit. It asks:

• What new skills will staff need to acquire to make the most of increased “virtual” working? How do these differ between different staff groups? How can they be supported to acquire them?

• Given the NHS is likely to be heavily dependent on the staff it already has, what can be done to ensure they deliver to the best of their abilities – and, for clinical staff, at the top of their licence? What does that mean in the context of virtual care? What skills will be needed within new organisations such as PCNs and ICSs?

• Workforce satisfaction and retention will be crucial if the NHS workforce is to meet the demands it will face. How can new ways of working be used to make working lives easier and more satisfying? How can organisations maximise staff wellbeing?

• How can NHS organisations start to capitalise on these changes as soon as possible? Are there easy wins they can aim for?

Annabelle Collins, senior correspondent, HSJ

Annabelle is a senior correspondent covering the NHS workforce, Brexit, the East Midlands and parts of Yorkshire. She can be contacted at: [email protected]



Rosalind Penny, director of HR & OD, Integrated Care System for Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West

Rosalind reports to the accountable officer for the ICS and her role is to prepare the three clinical commissioning groups for the new ICS organisation that comes into being in April 2022.  Until recently, she was the deputy director of organisation development at the Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust, one of the biggest district general hospitals in England.

In 2020, she was highly commended for deputy HR director of the year. She has worked at senior levels in a number of sectors, including policing and education as well as within private sector organisations.

Elspeth Griffiths, director of HR, workforce and OD for NHS South Central and West Commissioning Support Group

Elspeth is an experienced senior human resource professional with excellent communication skills, gained in private and public sector businesses.  She has worked in the NHS for more than 12 years with community health service and PCT experience, prior to setting up SCW as part of the transition in April 2013.  Elspeth is a flexible and proactive individual, able to organise teams and structure complex projects and workloads through to completion using a focused, pragmatic approach. She is experienced in developing and delivery of staff engagement and behavioural change programmes, the positive management of organisational change and encouraging involvement from all levels of the business, with experience operating at a senior level and demonstrating the commercial value of HR.

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Henrietta Mbeah-Bankas, head of blended learning and digital literacy project lead, Health Education England

Henrietta is the head of blended learning and the digital literacy project lead at Health Education England. She was previously the Topol technology review project lead and was seconded into a clinical nursing fellow role at NHS England. She is a registered mental health nurse, a Darzi fellow alumni and a third year NHS clinical entrepreneur.

Henrietta has an eclectic background but currently focusing on the development of digital capabilities and the use of digital technologies in educating and training the health and care workforce.

Kate Jarman, director of communications and corporate affairs, Milton Keynes University Hospital

Kate is the director of communications and corporate affairs at Milton Keynes University Hospital. Kate co-founded Flex NHS alongside Aasha Cowey in 2018 to start a movement that promotes and enable flexible working for the 1.5 million NHS workers. @FlexNHS champions flexible working for all by promoting a better work/ life balance as a vital part of recruiting and retaining staff now and in the future.