You are here
HEE Star: The proven value
The health and care system as a whole faces many challenges, not least in terms of trying to balance the needs of providing high quality care to patients and meeting key, national targets and statutory clinical requirements; all while maintaining the safety and effectiveness of its new and existing workforce.
A significant workforce development agenda, led by Health Education England (HEE) is embodied in We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/21 which is designed to tackle the gap between the growing demand for health care professional staff in England as well as address issues relating to existing and projected capacity. This has been turbo-charged by COVID-19.
In this most challenging of times understanding the value, relevance and use of the HEE Star has never been more important.
HEE Star value proposition: An independent report to Health Education England by Economics By Design
HEE commissioned health economists Economics By Design, to qualify and quantify the value to Providers and systems of applying the HEE Star methodology to planning workforce redesign. Evidence drawn from multiple examples of use, illustrate greater results in a shorter time period – saving time for senior leaders and clinicians, as well as generating the potential for faster and wider change, given the efficiency and breadth of the design process.
Health Education England has spent three years researching, building and refining the Star methodology and the set of accompanying resources to become the highly effective solution it has become today.
Designing an actionable, forward-thinking workforce redesign programme around the needs of patients is complex, time-consuming, and intellectually demanding. To do it well requires engagement with a broad range of stakeholders, access to best practice and multi-disciplinary expertise, strong co-ordination and leadership, extensive management resource and significant healthcare professional time; time that would be better spent on patient care. All this makes workforce development expensive and difficult to do.
In addition, when applied over a three to five year workforce transformation change programme, adoption of the HEE Star methodology’s broad-based but structured process, means that progress can be realised at pace, to great effect and deliver improved outcomes way beyond the immediate savings in time. By cutting through the complexities of multi-system planning, stretched healthcare leaders can reduce the risk of failure and equate the efficient use of time in planning directly to money, resource and energy saved.
The HEE Star is a definitive tool for any workforce redesign programme.
The HEE Star uses a structured approach to design a portfolio of projects to solve specific workforce problems in context. Rather than running long stakeholder engagement processes and multiple workshops and focus groups, it is all done in a carefully curated workshop over one or two days. With the right people in the room and with expert facilitation and access to on-line tools and evidence, stakeholders are quickly able to review the problem and identify solutions across the five workforce transformation drivers: supply, up-skilling, new roles, new ways of working, and leadership.
Customers who have used the HEE Star in their workforce redesign have reported an array of positive attributes and results, using terms such as inclusive, collaborative, simple, practical, dynamic and solution focused, when comparing the HEE Star to the experiences of other more traditional approaches to workforce transformation programme design.
HEE Star is a much faster, less costly, and higher quality workforce transformation design tool compared to alternative approaches. It offers the potential to work more quickly and creatively to identify innovative, practical projects which are much more likely to get delivered and to generate benefits sooner than might otherwise be the case. And because it is quick and focused, it has the potential to take much less staff time than traditional approaches whilst also generating a better result.
It is a very transferrable process. There is feedback from across the system, with users reporting real impact in addressing a diverse range of workforce challenges; from the use of physicians associates in primary care to addressing shortages of reporting radiographers and sonographers.
Discussions with users and facilitators of the HEE Star suggest that without it, their workforce redesign process would have used between three to five times more resource and would have taken much longer.
We are now pump-priming capacity in systems to use the HEE Star, by training those leading workforce redesign to deliver facilitated workshops locally.
For further information on the typical productivity gains (quantitative and qualitative) associated with using the HEE Star or to request support from the national team to scope your workforce challenge and get help in preparing for a workshop, contact us at email@example.com who will be able to help. They can also direct you to your regional HEE Workforce Transformation Team for local support.
Your local AHSN (Academic Health Network) may also be able to help, as the majority of the AHSN’s have volunteered members of their skilled pathway transformation teams for HEE Star training and can bring their wealth of expertise to the process.
What people say
Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health Chaired a HEE Star design workshop on Maximising the potential of Peer Support Workers in Mental Health reported: “Transformation processes generally take a lot of time to work out what the problem is. However, HEE Star got us there very quickly. The structured process helped with the dynamics of the group.”
“The “theory of change” approach we would normally have used would have taken much longer”.
There is also the potential for a much wider return on investment when HEE Star is applied to workforce redesign compared with more traditional approaches, offering a higher quality portfolio of projects from one workshop.
Professor Wendy Burn the National Mental Health Clinical Advisor for HEE chaired an HEE Star workshop looking for projects to help spread and adopt physician associates in mental health. She said: “I have been doing workforce planning for 30 years. I have sat on many workforce transformation programmes and attended many enormous meetings. I have actually, often, sat and worked out the salary cost of the meetings and the output has been absolutely nothing – no output and nothing changes. The great thing about the HEE Star is that something came out of it.”
Rachel Cowley, Senior People and OD Business Partner, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust used HEE Star for CAMHS: ‘Optimising non-core professionals to increase access to talking therapies. She reported that the HEE Star design approach helped: “Provide the governance and evidence base to accelerate transformation; broaden and deepen the problem definition so that the scope was more comprehensive and relevant; to identify solutions which could be relatively easy to implement and enable early delivery of benefits (quick wins); as a bi-product identify smaller problems and solutions which would not normally have commanded attention – this allows people to see progression in real time whilst the bigger problems and solutions are still being worked on.”
Ten key findings:
There is a significant workforce development agenda embodied in the NHS People Plan which is designed to address the gap between the growing demand for health care professional staff in England and existing and projected capacity.
Designing an actionable, forward-thinking workforce transformation programme around the needs of patients is complex, time-consuming, and intellectually demanding.
The HEE Star is a design tool for a workforce transformation programme. It uses a structured approach to design a portfolio of projects to solve specific workforce problems in context.
Customers who have used HEE Star to address workforce challenges, have reported an array of positive attributes and results.
HEE Star is a much faster, less costly, and higher quality workforce transformation design tool compared to alternative approaches.
Value estimates have been prepared based on an analysis of the use of the model in three scenarios: national, regional and local, and an additional 5 real-world case studies covering a range of workforce topics.
Estimates for cost-efficiency are based on assumptions about the savings in staff time achieved by using the HEE Star compared with more traditional approaches to workforce transformation design.
Conservative estimates suggest that for every £1 of staff time spent on HEE Star, savings in staff time of between £3 and £6 are achievable.
Estimates of the wider return on investment are based on the potential for HEE Star to deliver a higher quality portfolio of projects compared with more traditional approaches to workforce transformation design. An HEE Star portfolio of projects has the potential to deliver increased productivity faster than might otherwise be the case.
Conservative estimates suggest the HEE Star approach has the potential to increase the benefits of workforce transformation by between 40% and 65% over a 5-year period.
To read the value proposition report please see 'related documents' at the bottom of this page