The FCI has today published its ‘Summary report on a survey of the Clinical Informatics Workforce in NHS Trusts in England’
The ‘Summary report on a survey of the Clinical Informatics Workforce in NHS Trusts in England’ is the first of several reports that the FCI will publish focusing on the impact of Government funding on digitisation.
The report was prompted by a Health and Social Care Committee’s expert panel review of the Government's commitments to NHS digitisation. The FCI carried out a survey of its members to understand the current status of the clinical informatics workforce within NHS Trusts in England and responses were obtained from 28% (60 out of 213) of NHS healthcare providers in England.
Key findings from the report were as follows:
Our survey shows that currently 55% of the English NHS trusts that responded to our survey do not meet the Health Education England baseline for clinical informatics staff.
Health Education England’s report on developing the workforce for digitisation, estimated a baseline for clinical informatics staff within an average sized NHS trust of 9 WTE (0.14% of the workforce) clinical informaticians. They estimated that the digital technology and clinical informatics workforce would need to increase by about 69% by 2030, in order to meet the digital transformation plans established in the Topol Review and NHS Long Term Plan. Our survey shows that currently 55% of the English NHS trusts responding to our survey do not meet this baseline, and so considerably more work will be required to develop a workforce to meet the NHS’s digitisation aims.
Funding matters and has a clear impact
Funding has had an impact, however there is now a two-tier picture with those organisations that have received government funding now working towards digital integration across their localities and optimisation of digital systems to support care delivery, compared to non-funded Trusts who are further behind on their digital journey and are still focussing on electronic patient record (EPR) implementation.
The clinical safety function within digitisation is poorly resourced and presents a considerable risk to individual organisations and the NHS as a whole
The clinical safety function within digitisation is poorly resourced, with only 80% of responding Trusts having a Clinical Safety Officer, and clinical safety is not well embedded in governance. This presents a considerable risk to individual organisations and the NHS as a whole.
Lack of diversity in senior leadership
The role of chief clinical information officer (CCIO) was the best represented senior role across the survey results. Over 90% of organisations have this role in their Trust. However, across other professional groups, senior digital leadership roles were less well established.
Only 73% of organisations told us they had a chief nursing information officer (CNIO)
In pharmacy, only 42% of organisations reported a senior pharmacy information officer role
Allied health professionals had almost no senior informatics representation at all; 92% reported no information officer role