Health Workforce Innovations in Response to the COVID Pandemic
Deploying the healthcare science workforce to support the NHS clinical delivery plan for COVID-19
There is a need for increased health workforce capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This document has been produced to assist trusts and other organisations in deploying the healthcare science (HCS) workforce in the surge response to coronavirus. It sets out how healthcare scientists support these areas and the issues that need to be addressed, with detailed advice broken down by professional area. It builds on work already being undertaken by HCS staff across the NHS to adapt to the challenges posed by COVID-19
Specifically, this guidance is to support the provision of:
• new and expanded roles for specialists in healthcare science
• proactive leadership by HCS Leads, which is crucially important to ensure the HCS workforce is fully embedded in all planning and delivery stages
• troubleshooting to help individuals work in environments where they will have to adapt rapidly, as well as alter allegiances to individual trusts, departments and management structures
• COVID-19 molecular testing in laboratories using staff who have the potential skills and experience
• expertise and support for critical care and high dependency settings
• clinical engineering services to support crucial logistics and equipment operation and maintenance in laboratories, critical care and high dependency settings
• physical science services to support and coordinate regional equipment procurement, logistics, compliance with regulation, equipment assessment, installation, acceptance and maintenance in both the laboratories and in critical care settings
• ongoing healthcare science diagnostic and treatment services, which must continue to be maintained for urgent and emergency care pathways including cancer, dialysis, and acute cardiac events.
This guidance defines:
• the skills that exist across all HCS specialties, to help identify those who could quickly be upskilled to take on different roles and activities
• the required competencies for upskilling
• recommended training resources.
Back-up solutions for absenteeism
Back-fill solutions for staff moving to front-lines
Cross-sector staff deployments
Rapid upskilling/reskilling existing and available workers (eg. laid off)