We recently worked in partnership with Liverpool Community Health (LCH) to implement our school nursing service planner. The planner aims to improve outcomes for our children through identifying and managing risks within the service, identifying recruitment needs, assisting with business continuity planning and identifying potential cost savings.
Due to PCT reconfigurations, the service has recently merged two previously separate organisations of Sefton andLiverpoolinto one. The project was overseen by a steering group consisting of school nurse practitioners and managers, HR, Public Health Analysts, Business & Performance Intelligence Team, Workforce Development Team and the Public Health Team. A series of workshops were undertaken with front line staff to drive the work forward and involve them in the process.
Working on the development of the school nurse planner will continue to help us deliver on the QIPP agenda through ensuring we have the right staff with the right skills to deliver the Health Child Programme. The tool also supports managers with key decisions around staff deployment to meet the needs of our diverse population. This helps us to ensure we have an equitable service with optimum staffing levels to improve the outcomes for our children, young people and their families.
As well as being able to consider current service provision it also allows us the opportunity for some visionary thinking by enabling us to test hypotheses in an objective and safe way. It provides us with a clear picture of what that may look like in terms of costs to deliver the service, identifying roles and responsibilities including training and development needs.
Doreen Porter – Leader of project team
Given the reconfiguration, harmonising services and workforce profiles were key outcomes of the workshops and collaboration was imperative to ensure buy-in of the new service from all those involved. Collective area, workforce and service profiles were developed and variations in the existing service were discussed, prompting ideas around best practice and plans for future service provision. Where there were clear differences in practice and staff configuration, the service planner was instrumental in focusing discussion.
Following the successful completion of a pilot in Sefton, the rollout is being extended across the rest of LCH. The service planner has provided an overview of the current workforce capacity to deliver the new programme in each locality, providing a consistent overview of the service to help inform the new service redesign. As well as workforce evaluation, LCH intend to use the planner to assist future change, refine service delivery, and assess new ways of managing performance.