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Surrey Heartlands


Integrating the workforce to deliver more efficient patient care

To tackle the issue of delivering quality care to aging populations and under budget pressure, Integrated Care Systems (ICS) have been set up across England to deliver more localised and effective care to patients. ICS focus on adopting new ways of working, changes to team cultures and new approaches to leadership. We’ve been working with Surrey Heartlands ICS to develop workforce plans for each of their three Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) so they’re equipped to provide better care now and in the future across the Surrey region.


Key successes

  • target

    Identified the challenges and gaps in the Surrey Heartlands local workforce

  • people

    Provided over 30 workforce interventions to deliver efficiencies locally and at scale

  • list

    Put robust plans in place to enable better care for Surrey’s aging population

Building partnerships to deliver better care

National policy is driving the formation of Integrated Care Systems (ICS) to promote better working across organisational, system and sector boundaries. This approach requires the local workforce to work differently, by adopting new ways of working, altered skills-mix and changes to leadership approaches and team cultures. 

With an aging population and workforce demand outstripping supply, the Surrey region is under pressure to deliver quality care. The area has a large population of 40-65 and 75+ year olds. It’s estimated by 2025 more than 20 per cent of the population will be aged 65+. And 30 per cent of adults in the region suffer from at least one long term health condition.

Surrey Heartlands Health & Care Partnership wanted to ensure its workforce was equipped to deliver the best possible care. With three ICPs sitting within the Surrey Heartlands ICS, it needed to develop a plan across its entire organisation to improve efficiency and identify opportunities.     

Shaping new ways of working

We brought together a diverse team, including experts in business intelligence, analytics and people and talent, to identify the current challenges facing Surrey Heartland’s workforce and create a plan to help them meet future workforce requirements.

We worked closely with stakeholders from each of the three ICPs to identify the challenges and gaps in their local workforce as well as identify the existing workforce initiatives underway. We uncovered over 30 workforce interventions that could be employed at ICS and ICP level.

These aligned to five key workforce themes:

  1. developing new and changing roles
  2. enhancing professional education and training
  3. transforming processes and enablers to improve recruitment and retention
  4. improving culture and organisational development
  5. supporting the workforce by adopting new technology

We found that some interventions (e.g. role design, contract negotiation) would be most effectively and efficiently delivered once at scale at a Surrey Heartlands ICS level. Other interventions requiring a more local ‘place-based’ perspective (e.g. operationalisation of new ways of working) were stratified to an ICP level, being delivered by ICPs working either individually or in collaboration. 

Delivering a positive human future for patients and staff

PA has been a trusted strategic partner in the development of a comprehensive workforce solution that ensures Surrey Heartlands has a workforce that is suitably equipped to deliver care across our newly formed Integrated Care System.

Suzanne Rankin,
CEO Ashford, St Peter’s Hospitals NHS FT and Chair of the Surrey Heartlands Workforce Action Board

We underpinned each intervention with recommended actions, so Surrey Heartlands had practical steps to guide them through their workforce transformation. We incorporated these into an innovative three-year integrated workforce plan for each of their three ICPs.

The key aim of the plan is to ensure the workforce can deliver the best patient care by working in more efficient ways across the entire organisation. For example, we identified ways to expand the use of technology to improve care decision-making, the flexibility of work as well as improving efficiency.

The plans will also help improve workforce morale by tackling the challenges that make frontline care delivery difficult. By ensuring processes are led centrally, teams won’t spend their time duplicating efforts and instead can focus their attention on delivering better front-line care. It also helps Surrey Heartlands develop opportunities for professional development, including placements, expanded and shared learning and development, and new routes for career progression. By enabling better skills-mixing, the ICPs supporting clinicians and specialists can operate at the top of their licence through better skill-mixing.

“PA has been a trusted strategic partner in the development of a comprehensive workforce solution that ensures Surrey Heartlands has a workforce that is suitably equipped to deliver care across our newly formed Integrated Care System”, says Suzanne Rankin, CEO Ashford, St Peter’s Hospitals NHS.

“Drawing on experience from elsewhere and deep sector insight, the PA team worked alongside our stakeholders to develop workforce plans that were tailored to meet the local needs of our population, aligning with projects already in place to develop our workforce. These plans are being mobilised across our ICS and will be fundamental to delivering our workforce changes across Surrey Heartlands in a coordinated and efficient manner going forward.”

With a more integrated workforce and robust plans in place, Surrey Heartlands will be able to provide care that is more tailored to the specific needs of the region.

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