A great two days in Westminster


On February 10 and 11, we held our WP6 workshop in the offices of the UK’s Department for Health in London. Over 30 partners were in attendance representing over 20 different organisations and covering all the Work Packages. 


The two days included lively discussion, training sessions and speeches from prominent leaders in the UK health workforce. Greg Allen, Interim Managing Director at CfWI opened the day and keynotes were delivered by Dr Dan Poulter MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Professor Ian Cumming OBE, the Chief Executive of Health Education England (HEE).  Caroline Hager, DG Health and Consumers, European Commission and Michel Van Hoegaerden, Programme Manager for the Joint Action also provided opening speeches. In addition Jamie Rentoul, Director of Workforce Strategy, Department of Health provided thoughts and welcomes on behalf of the UK.


Matt Edwards, WP6 Leader / Head of Horizon Scanning and International set out the purpose and aims of the workshop:

  • Validation of the comparison of qualitative methods in health workforce planning based on information provided by partners (related to D061 User Guidelines on how to use qualitative methodologies to estimate future health workforce needs).
  • To train partners to conduct Horizon Scanning interviews with key stakeholders to enable the identification of drivers that may impact on the health workforce (related to DO62 Report on Future Skills & Competencies).



The activities held across the two days saw strong interaction and debate from all our participants and there were a number of thoughts emerging around applying qualitative workforce planning methodologies for all member states and JA partners.  Day 1 included learning from England’s Centre for Workforce Intelligence, the Netherlands with their approach of ‘participative policy agreement’ and from Reka Kovacs representing Hungary, focusing on their aspirations to use qualitative workforce planning methods in the future. The presentation from Victor Slentor of the Netherlands included this interesting video ‘Scanadu’ about future use of technology in healthcare provoking good discussion.


The first day culminated with a review, discussion and closing comments to finalise the WP6 comparison of qualitative methods in health workforce planning provided by partners to WP6 last autumn.


During the second day theWP6 team presented the proposal for use of Horizon Scanning as part of this Joint Action and the a skills and competency framework to process information that will be collected as part of expert interviews that will be held across Europe during 2014.


Partners were also introduced to and trained in the CfWI’s Horizon Scanning interview techniques.  Participants were tasked with conducting their own practice interviews and then feeding back their experiences.  This feedback will now be incorporated to further guidance and supporting materials that will further enable Horizon Scanning skills transfer to colleagues.


Partners then observed a sample interview carried out by John Fellows, Content Lead for the WP6 team with Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Chair of Nursing Policy at Kings College London.  This proved a popular session and participants were interested in the content discussed and how these techniques help identify driving forces affecting the workforce as well as skills and competencies for the future. 


WP6 would like to thank all those that attended and for providing such interesting discussion.  We are currently processing the actions from the workshop, discussion areas and updated materials will be available shortly in the WP6 workspace on the EU JA SharePoint site. 


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions following the workshop. The email address to use for all WP6 correspondence is EUHWForce@cfwi.org.uk or please contact the WP6 leader Matt Edwards on +447834 800393, or our WP6 content lead John Fellows on +44 7795 452972.

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