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I promised a thread on the #TopolReview. An impressive achievement in its comprehensiveness and should be read in full topol.hee.nhs.uk
The first thing that should be welcomed is that change management is recognised as important. There's a lot on educating staff in different ways (which is important), but challenges in using tech are not all about education.
There's a lot to unpack in the various reccs around creating better education packages for all NHS staff. But if taking to IT was just about education then we'd all be programmers. Tech change throws up significant cultural issues, and the Review addresses this.
There's a good recognition of the role of the board in driving digital skills though. And actually: if your organisation isn't taking to digital, it's almost certainly partly because it's being deprioritised at board-level.
However, technology and its relation to issues in the workforce I think is less effectively dealt with. It was promising when I saw this image showing that technology and how quickly each might affect staff:
This feels realistic if challenges around change management and workforce development can be tackled. However, what does this rapid change mean for the composition of our workforce......
.... if you're saying that 50% of the workforce will be affected by predictive AI analytics, doesn't this mean that workforce planning should take this into account? What should we be expecting in productivity gains?
It seems a big part of this review could have dealt with the question: will tech be part of the solution to soaring vacancies? I don't know whether it will or whether it won't, but feels like we need some kind of answer to this.
It's asking to much to be a comprehensive answer to this question. But we have a workforce plan coming soon and we should know whether tech is part of that. Parts of the review felt too bubble-y and divorced from the 40,000 nurse vacancies we have.
Like freeing up clinical time for working on tech projects. I applaud, but seriously where are these staff going to find the time unless comprehensive action taken on workforce.
This leads on to another issues (slightly outside of the ToR), which is burnout. Emerging evidence that poorly designed tech is leading to clinician burnout, low morale etc. But very little to address this in the review.
Yes we need to train staff to be flexible and use technology. But we shouldn't expect them to be using technology and finding workarounds to technology that the sector is poor at designing or implementing. Where's the support for staff frustrated by their poor tech?
(reaching the end now): The ToR also didn't allow for non-clinical staff. Huge error. We know that working in IT/data is unattractive currently. WHO are the people we think are going to implement tech and derive meaning from data? health.org.uk/publications/u…
So how does #Topolreview do against my KPIs? On 1. it does well.
2. Answers part of the question, but ducks hard bits
3. Feels like it fails to place tech in wider workforce context.....
And on KPI 4 (@silv24) - building flexibility in the workforce and educating them is important. But need to acknowledge that poor tech is the cause of a lot of problems, not a lack of workforce resilience. /THE END.
P.S. Our official response to the #TopolReview kingsfund.org.uk/press/press-re…
PPS And if you don’t like reading threads, @NTtweeting unrolled this into a single page here: threadreaderapp.com/thread/1094907…
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