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New HR network will help upskill hospice staff

Author: Sophie Barnes & Alan Mustafa
13 June 2017

Hospice UK’s HR team Sophie Barnes and Alan Mustafa explain how the recently founded Strategic Human Resources and Workforce Leads network (SHaWL) will help hospices improve the skills and responsiveness of their staff.

SHaWL is in full swing since its implementation in November 2016. It has set itself an ambitious task; the vision is to work collaboratively and creatively with Hospice UK, Executive Clinical Leads in Hospice and Palliative Care (ECLiHP) and the National Hospice Education Collaborative (NHEC) to support workforce planning and development for the hospice sector. The work forms part of Hospice UK’s new strategy; to empower a strong, dynamic and responsive hospice through a workforce which is skilled, committed and fit for the future. 

The network aims to develop the capacity of HR, and stimulate a strategic approach in the planning and development of a future workforce able to provide increasingly complex and diverse services.  Yesterday’s article by Emma Hodges, CEO at St Giles’ Hospice, gives insight into this thinking.   

Initial collaborations

The first joint meeting with SHaWL and ECLiHP in March 2017 drew out creative, constructive and engaging discussions. Topics agreed for future work included how we support carers re-entering the workplace, upskilling managers, making use of the apprenticeship levy, capturing workforce data and enhancing the use of volunteers.

A break out session made clear that the need to identify and plan for our future service is at the heart of what the groups seek to address. Discussion is now underway to explore how we address workforce challenges for the future.

SHaWL made further plans to develop HR within hospices, through a mentoring and buddying scheme, guidance to demonstrate how HR services can contribute to success of the hospice and showcasing examples of the strategic potential of collaboration and partnerships.

Further developments and activity

Hospice UK is working with SHaWL representatives to map HR leads and functions in the different regions. The aim is to develop SHaWL’s links to the regions to enhance the local networks. A survey is about to go out to support this work and also audit recruitment issues, collaborative work and new HR initiatives at a local level.

SHaWL will reconvene on 23 June 2017 for the joint Clinical and HR Leads conference in Birmingham entitled Working Together to Secure our Success’.

The initiative is off to a strong and inspiring start. Reps have been agreed for almost all regions with just Northern Ireland to be arranged. It is exciting to see how collaborative and creative work across a variety of specialisms and expertise will work to transform and empower the hospice sector.

For more information on the network and the work planned visit Hospice UK’s SHaWL page

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