The Department of Health is receiving technical support under the European Commission Technical Support Instrument (TSI) to develop a health and social care workforce planning strategy and projection model based on international best practice, according to a spokesperson.
A key outcome of the project is that the Department will have the “tools, processes, and technical capacity” to produce rolling health and social care workforce planning action plans and implement targeted policy measures for health and social care workforce reform.
The Department spokesperson said work on this project forms a key part of what the Medical Council has been calling for regarding medical workforce planning. The project is due to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.
“The Department of Health is currently focused on the development of the health and social care workforce strategy and action plan,” outlined the spokesperson. “Extensive work has been completed in relation to inputs to the strategy and action plan.”
These inputs include assessment of the maturity of current health and social care workforce planning processes; data source mapping; a research review to inform technical specifications of a planning projection model; and stakeholder engagement with the HSE; Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science; Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth; Deans of medical schools; Forum of Irish
Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies; and professional regulators.
“The policy dialogue was further enhanced by an international online workshop to learn from best practice across other jurisdictions including representatives from Scotland, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Spain, and Italy,” added the spokesperson.
The first key project output is a health and social care workforce planning strategy and action plan. The strategy provides technical detail regarding workforce modelling based on international best practice and recommendations regarding the governance structures and data collection protocols required for health and social care workforce planning.
Extensive work is also underway on the development of health and social care workforce planning models, scenario building, projections, and gap analysis. The main challenge concerns unanticipated delays on data access and constraints on data coverage, according to the Department.