This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 1.1 National, local and organisational strategies and priorities on resource planning and management (Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care, Resource Management in Adult Care)
Resource planning is an essential part of managing high-quality care services efficiently and effectively. It involves ensuring that the optimum level of resources are planned for and prioritised as and when they are required.
Resources can be categorised as:
- Financial resources – money and budgets
- Physical resources – buildings, equipment and consumables
- Human resources – staffing requirements
Strategies and priorities for resource planning and management can be carried out on national, local and organisational scales.
National strategies are made at the top level and apply to the whole country. Some strategies may affect more than one country (e.g. the whole of the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
One such national strategy was the ‘Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategy: Stabilise and Build Resistance‘ (Department of Health & Social Care, 2020) developed during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is concerned with the supply chain for PPE (physical resources) in England for those on the frontline responding to Covid-19 and was prompted by shortages of PPE at the beginning of the pandemic. It aims to prevent similar shortages in the future by putting measures in place including building a resilient supply chain, using predominantly UK manufacturers and stockpiling resources.
Other national strategies for resource planning and management that you may wish to research further include:
- The NHS Five Year Forward View (2014) and Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View (2017) – sets out a vision for the future of the NHS, including delivering services and managing funding (financial resources).
- Covid-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care (2020) – developed in response to Covid-19 pandemic, this government document highlights the importance of care workers (human resources) and sets out actions to recruit more people into care roles as well as providing additional funding (financial resources) to local authorities.
- Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations (2016) – also known as the Carter Review, this document details how financial savings can be made across the NHS.
- Social Care: Funding and Workforce (2020) and The Government Response to the Health and Social Care Committee report on Adult Social Care: Funding and Workforce (2021) – an inquiry into the funding and workforce for adult care with recommendations and the government’s official response.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and your own research should uncover other national policies relating to resource management.
Local strategies are designed to meet the varying needs of different regions of the UK. For example, rural areas have a higher demographic of individuals that are state pension age or over (Office for National Statistics, 2018) so planners in these areas may need to allocate more resources to dementia and end-of-life care.
Different regional groups such as local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) must work in partnership to meets the needs of the areas they provide services for.
Of course, local strategies are going to vary between regions, so it is important that you are aware of the plans in your own area. You could perhaps research this by looking at the websites of your local authority or CCG. For example, health and care partners in the city of Liverpool recognised that ‘In order to improve population health, a greater proportion of resources need to shift from treating people for specific diseases to proactive management of their overall health and wellbeing.’ (One Liverpool Strategy 2019-2024)
Organisational strategies are those that apply to organisations providing services on the front line. A simplified way to visualise this is that national strategies inform the allocation of resources to local service areas and the local strategies inform the allocation of resources to organisations.
Organisations may tender for contracts from local authorities to deliver services that are in line with national and local priorities.
As a manager, you will have responsibilities relating to the allocation of resources for your organisation, which will be dependent on your role. If you are running your own small business, you may be responsible for all of your organisation’s resources, however, if you work for a larger organisation, you may only be responsible for the resources allocated to your department.
These strategies may be documented in your organisation’s business plan, strategic plan and/or financial plan – you may even be responsible for writing these plans. Other organisational strategies that may be applicable to you are described below.
You may be responsible for financial resources, which will involve planning how cash will be spent over the year and setting budgets. Financial forecasting will be required to make a realistic prediction of how much monthly income and expenditure will be required and budgets should be reviewed regularly to ensure that there is no overspend or underspend.
Management of physical resources in health and care services can include:
- Ensuring sufficient stock levels of PPE
- Keeping equipment safe and well-maintained
- Sourcing and managing buildings and premises
- Managing stock levels of resident medication
- Purchasing and configuring IT equipment
You may also be responsible for assisting the individuals that you care for with their own resources, such as personal budget planning and ordering repeat prescriptions.
One of the largest and most important resources that you will manage is your workforce. You must have sufficient staffing levels to deliver high-quality and care services.
This may involve recruitment and retaining the existing staff. You may use a skills matrix to identify the knowledge, skills and qualifications of the entire staff team, which can be used to ensure that sufficient staff are trained in the areas that are required by your organisation. Being aware of future plans (for example, if your organisation will be opening a new service for individuals with complex needs) can inform the recruitment of staff with specific skills and the training of existing staff so that staffing needs can be met when required.
Short-term staffing plans will involve ensuring staff with correct skills and experience are scheduled to be on shift when required. This will mean collaborating with your team to devise fair and equitable rotas.