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FUTURE SKILLS AND COMPETENCES OF THE HEALTH WORKFORCE IN EUROPE

Horizon scanning in health workforce planning and forecasting is used to explore and describe the factors and forces, and their inter-relationships, in workforce systems.

 

In the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting (JA HWF) the aim of the horizon scanning is to:

 

  • Increase our collective knowledge of the methods used to investigate workforce futures.
  • Demonstrate the application of futures methods to describe the factors and forces, and their implications, for health workforces and workforce systems.

 

The JA HWF conducted a future-oriented scan (out to 2035) for drivers of change, their potential implications, distribution and an estimation of future needs for the skills and competences of the health workforce in the European Union. Below we describe what this work has found, what it provides and what we recommend.

 

D062 DIAGRAM

 

Download the policy briefs and main report

These 4 policy briefs provide a high level description of the key issues, findings and results of the work. They are aimed at policy makers and other audiences interested in the future of the health workforce and health systems. A longer main report accompanies these briefs and is described below.

Policy brief 1HORIZON SCANNING AND FUTURE WORKFORCE PLANNING IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

PDF to download – Final version May 2016

 

Provides an overview of the entire work, key issues and recommendations at a glance, the high level drivers of change out to 2035 and a summary of the skills implications.

Policy brief 2POPULATIONS

PDF to download – Final version May 2016

 

The key driving forces at the EU-28 level include an ageing population with an increased life expectancy, increasing chronic morbidity, increasing multimorbidity, increasing health inequities and shifts in the distribution of health conditions across Europe.

Policy brief 3HEALTH SERVICES

PDF to download – Final version May 2016

 

This brief considers the drivers acting on health services. Key driving forces include patient empowerment, Health care expenditures, health IT and health services, genomics and precision medicine, location of care by setting, roles and decision rights, regulation.

Policy brief 4HEALTH WORKFORCE

PDF to download – Final version May 2016

 

The driving forces acting on this part of the system include an ageing health workforce, multi-professional education and adaptation of competences, health IT, skill mix and workforce mobility.

Main reportFuture skills and competences of the health workforce in Europe

PDF to download – Final version May 2016

 

This longer report is aimed primarily at national-level workforce planners and those who are interested in understanding or carrying out horizon scanning or future-oriented workforce research at the European or global levels.

 

Key issues at a glance

  1. Health care workforces are involved in a wide range of essential activities, such as preventing ill-health, treating and caring for populations. These activities take place within a broader system of health care workforce skills and competences, where the responsibilities to deliver health care is associated with different professional groups.
  2. To better understand the future skills and competences required from health workforces, health systems and workforce planning needs to take into account the driving forces causing change and to understand their potential effects across individual and multiple health workforces.

 

WHAT ARE THE High level drivers of change for the future?

The high-level drivers of change out to 2035 described by this report are summarised below.

drivers

 

WHAT ARE THE SKILLS AND COMPETENCE IMPLICATIONS?

As result of horizon scanning this work has identified increases in the following areas of skills and competence for the future as a result of these driving forces. 

SKILLS

 

HOW ARE THESE DRIVERS RELATED TO THE WORKFORCE?

Systems thinking is used in workforce planning to describe and better understand the behaviour of complex systems, such as health care and health workforce systems (CfWI, 2014b). A systems thinking approach has been used for this work to develop a system map which provides the conceptual framework for the analysis, to discuss drivers of change to workforce skills and competences in the categories of populations, health services and health workforces.

 

The system map links the multiple factors driving change to the future skills and competences at the national (macro) level. The system map is generic and can be used and developed in national-specific contexts, where different factors may have stronger or weaker relationships depending on, for example, health system type.

 

System map developed as part of this research

2

 

 

HOW DOES THIS SYSTEM MAP BUILD UP?

 

Below we present a build up and explanation of how the system map is created and might be reused to inform workforce planning in other contexts / health and care systems. It is also available as a pdf in the ‘Toolkit and templates’ section below. 

 

 

TOOLKIT AND TEMPLATES

Below you can download the tools and templates for horizon scanning and workforce futures

 

Other futures workforce publications and research

Below are described other horizon scanning work in workforce planning plus additional references.

 

D062 OTHER WORKS

 

Bradley et al, 2015 ‘Emerging roles and competencies of district and sub-district pharmacists: a case study from Cape Town.’ Human Resources for Health 13:88. [Accessed online December 2015] http://www.human-resources-health.com/content/pdf/s12960-015-0081-8.pdf

 

Centre for Workforce Intelligence, (2015) Horizon 2035 – Future demand for skills: initial results. http://www.cfwi.org.uk/publications/horizon-2035-future-demand-for-skills-initial-results/attachment.pdf

 

Centre for Workforce Intelligence (2014) In-depth review of the general practitioner workforce – Final report. http://www.cfwi.org.uk/publications/in-depth-review-of-the-gp-workforce

 

Centre for Workforce Intelligence (2014) CfWI’s Technical paper series. http://www.cfwi.org.uk/our-work/research-development/cfwi-technical-paper-series

 

Centre for Workforce Intelligence (2014) Horizon 2035: International responses to big picture challenges. http://www.cfwi.org.uk/publications/horizon-2035-international-responses-to-big-picture-challenges

 

Centre for Workforce Intelligence (2013) Big Picture Challenges: the context http://www.cfwi.org.uk/our-work/horizon-scanning-big-picture-challenges/at_download/attachment1

 

Centre for Workforce Intelligence (2013) A strategic review of the future pharmacist workforce. http://www.cfwi.org.uk/publications/a-strategic-review-of-the-future-pharmacist-workforce

 

Centre for Workforce Intelligence (2013) The technology horizon. http://www.cfwi.org.uk/publications/the-technology-horizon-preliminary-review-on-technologies-impacting-the-future-health-and-social-care-workforce

 

European Commission, 2015. Recruitment and retention of the Health Workforce in Europe: Final report. [Accessed online November 2015] http://ec.europa.eu/health/workforce/docs/2015_healthworkforce_recruitment_retention_frep_en.pdf

 

European Commission, 2015. Disruptive innovation: Considerations for health and health care in Europe. [Accessed online November 2015] http://ec.europa.eu/health/expert_panel/opinions/docs/011_disruptive_innovation_en.pdf

 

Global Health Workforce Alliance and World Health Organization (2013) A Universal Truth: No Health Without a Workforce http://www.who.int/workforcealliance/knowledge/resources/hrhreport2013/en/

 

World Health Organisation (2015) Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 http://www.who.int/hrh/resources/globstrathrh-2030/en/

 

CONTACT DETAILS

Matt Edwards

Head of Horizon Scanning and International, Department of Health, UK

matt.edwards@dh.gsi.gov.uk

John Fellows

Senior Analyst, Department of Health, UK

john.fellows@dh.gsi.gov.uk

 

UK Department of Health team

workforceintelligence@dh.gsi.gov.uk