The healthcare workforce is a critical component of the healthcare system. It comprises of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals responsible for providing quality healthcare services to patients. The healthcare workforce is essential in ensuring that patients receive the best possible care and treatment.
Our CEO and Marketing Manager recently attended a healthcare event where several prominent healthcare authorities discussed the figure everyone wants to know – What % of staff is the healthcare sector lacking that’s preventing the NHS from functioning normally?
To their surprise, this figure was only 15%. Shockingly, the NHS is only lacking 15% of their employees. Yet, that figure is the leading cause of why we continue to see increased wait times in primary and secondary care, extremely unsatisfied patients and burnt-out employees.
So, how can the NHS and governing bodies reduce that number before the National Healthcare System crumbles?
- Hire more staff: While this seems the most straightforward answer, it’s unlikely. First, the healthcare budget has been stretched to its limit, making large-scale recruitment near impossible. Secondly, due to COVID, many healthcare employees have found roles in other industries meaning recruiting the right staff members has become more expensive.
- Use Technology: Technology can help healthcare professionals work more efficiently and effectively. For example, telemedicine can enable healthcare professionals to provide care remotely and remote queuing and booking solutions such as QHERE can be used to reduce in-clinic patient wait times.
- Improve working conditions: Healthcare professionals work in demanding and stressful environments. Improving working conditions, such as reducing workload and safely utilising the current workforce through a solution like QHERE, can assist healthcare organisations in improving job satisfaction and retention rates.
- Expand the scope of practice: Many healthcare professionals have skills and knowledge beyond their traditional roles. By expanding their scope of practice, healthcare professionals can take on new responsibilities, such as prescribing medications, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and providing counselling.
- Invest in education and training: Continuous education and training are essential for healthcare professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field. Healthcare organisations should invest in training programs to ensure their workforce is skilled and knowledgeable, meaning quicker treatment times and fewer wait times.
By utilising the healthcare workforce in these ways, the National Healthcare System can reduce the 5% workforce gap, improve the quality and efficiency of care, reduce costs, and enhance patient outcomes.