Thurrock Council and skills for care lead the way

PUBLIC organisations like Thurrock Council, the police and the NHS are going through a time of considerable change as budgets and departments are squeezed and services forced to change.

This is particularly important in the caring professions where the Care Act is making major changes to the way adult social care is going to be delivered, starting next April.

Thurrock’s workforce development service is leading the way nationally in coping with these changes, working with national organisation Skills for Care – which works with more than 17,000 adult social care employers and other partners to develop the skills, knowledge and values – to answer the question: “Do you have the right number of people in the right roles to deliver change?”

Workforce capacity planning helps work out whether or not an organisation has the right mix and numbers of people with the right skills and knowledge to implement care and support reform.

The principles of workforce capacity planning are applicable across all services undergoing radical change. Thurrock is one of four councils working with Skills for Care and the only one to have shared a copy of its workforce capacity plan to help others develop theirs.

Jim Thomas, Programme Head – Workforce Innovation with Skills for Care, said: “Thurrock has worked closely with Skills for Care on the development of a flexible model for workforce capacity planning in adult social care.

“The council has contributed their skills and knowledge locally and nationally to all aspects of the project, and directly influenced how the new version of the model works – a unitary authority showing what can be done to ensure their workforce is ready for April 2015.”

Cllr Barbara Rice, Thurrock’s portfolio holder for adult social care and health, said: “Once again Thurrock is leading the way, working quietly behind the scenes and showing the rest of the country the way forward.

“Workforce capacity planning may not be the most exciting area perhaps, but as public bodies’ finances are ever-more squeezed and the need for finding new ways of providing the same services becomes ever-more critical, it will be ever-more important.

“I’d like to publicly pass on my thanks to the team.”

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