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Meet our new WITNe network chair: Helen Stapleton

29 September 2023

Facilitated by NHS England, the Workforce Intelligence and Transformation Network, or WITNe, is a supportive community for individuals who lead or participate in workforce planning, redesign or transformation activities. 

We recently took some time out to speak to Helen Stapleton, Associate Director for Strategic Workforce Transformation at NHS Somerset Integrated Care Board, our new network chair.

Can you tell us about yourself?Helen Stapleton

Hi, I'm Helen Stapleton and I am honoured to help chair the WITNe for the next few months. My role is Associate Director for Strategic Workforce Transformation at NHS Somerset Integrated Care Board, which makes me the "go-to" person for all things relating to system workforce planning, intelligence, and transformation within the Somerset Integrated Care System so, WITNe is one of the most relevant forums for my work! I've been a "system workforce person" for the last six and a half years, building on a varied career at provider, regional, and even national level in the past. I started as a hospital pharmacist, managing a pharmacy service in London for a while. I value and treasure my clinical background to this day. However, I inevitably got hooked on the unique and complex agenda around health and care workforce development. Since moving to Somerset 23 years ago, I've worked on some great programmes with amazing people as well as bringing up two young humans of my own (now 18 and 21) and many dogs, cats, and other assorted creatures along the way.

Can you tell us about the WITNe network?

WITNe is a crucial forum bringing together the world of workforce data and intelligence with the programmes of workforce planning and transformation. A place to share and create new insights about how to achieve evidence-based strategic transformation that achieves measurable impact. It's an inclusive network, designed to share, discuss, showcase, and debate as well as provide key updates for ongoing programmes.

What do you understand to be the WITNe priorities?

In general: primarily to build and hold the community of people who are involved in health and care workforce planning and transformation across the region, and to provide a space to network and share projects and innovation. Also, to support two-way communication between national/regional/system teams to support the ongoing development of integrated care systems to deliver the long term workforce plan.

What do you hope WITNe will do in the future?

I hope we will move into integrated planning and productivity discussions with population health management and prevention planning to develop a different workforce alongside the traditional profession-based demand and supply planning approaches.

Why do you like being a member of the WITNe network?

Learning from colleagues across the region and an opportunity to debate some of the "big" issues with like-minded colleagues.

If a colleague was unsure about joining, what would you say to convince them to join the WITNe network?

You will miss out if you don't! The network will evolve and shape to support the needs of its members but, you have to be a member to have a voice.

Join the WITNe network today and contact england.transformation.sw@nhs.net for further information.