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How cost savings can drive concurrent workforce modernization, career development and improved patient care
World Congress on Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare
September 07-09, 2017 London, UK

Gareth Chan, Rebecca Rewbury, Holly Reid, Nick Groves and Varadarajan Kalidasan

Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, UK

Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Pat Care


Workforce modernization has associated negative connotations of decreased morale, static career development and staff marginalization. Through our Clinical Assistant (CA) project at a busy Major-Trauma Centre we delivered a significant financial savings whilst achieving improved patient care, improved doctor morale and enhanced training opportunities. Development of career trajectories for entry-level healthcare roles and most importantly a future proofed workforce for the challenging years ahead for the NHS. During a 6-month pilot we seconded 5 Healthcare Assistants to a new role of CA to provide administrative, clerical and clinical support to Foundation Year doctors within a busy tertiary General Surgery department. During this period we demonstrated a reduction in the working hours of the Foundation Trainees, which resulted in significant reductions in the financial burden of additional-hours payments, when offset against the additional salary costs of the 5CAs, still represented a cost saving of £35000. CAs developed their clinical repertoire and experience by working closely with doctors and allied health professionals. Our first cohort of CAs used these experiences as a springboard in their career progression, with 2 going onto higher nursing degrees and a further CA joining the prestigious first cohort of Physicians�?? Associates at our affiliated Medical School. The loss of these talented CAs to higher training is not seen as an impediment to the project, but rather a unique selling point in a system where stagnation and career �??flat-lining�?� remains a real possibility. Using this we have been able to recruit further cohorts of highly skilled and motivated individuals into the role. This continued through-put of skilled individuals into the role, combined with career development of existing CAs and the redistribution of �??traditional doctor�?� roles to other health professionals has helped us future proof our General Surgery workforce for the foreseeable future, all within a cost-saving envelope.