Idea 4: Job Planning

Process

The first part of team job planning generates individual job capacity plans based on what staff currently do. These plans will include a range of activities including work in Core and Specific Partnership pathways, team meetings and other tasks.

Next is to add the right number of Choice appointments across the team. So work out the average number of referrals you accept a week. This tells you how many Choice appointments a week are needed. If you also flex your capacity (see later), you can see all referrals within a reasonable timescale, without building up a waiting list. Then you work out who in the team will offer the required number of Choice appointments.

Most job capacity plans will include both Core and Specific Partnership work. The actual distribution for each clinician will depend on the balance of those skills in the team and what provides the best team skill mix, both at Core and Specific levels.

Numbers now come into play. Using the number of half-days available for Core Partnership work, a simple formula is used to calculate the number of new Core Partnership appointments each clinician needs to do in 3-month period of 13 weeks. For a full- time clinician who is doing 50% of their work in Core Partnership this results in just over one new Core Partnership client to take on each week.

Finally, the team manager can add up all the job planned clinical activity from the team and work out if they can provide sufficient Core Partnership work to match the demand coming from Choice.

What will it look like?

Each clinician will have an individual plan with their individual Choice and Core and Specific Partnership activities described. The manager will have a whole team plan with calculated activity levels for Choice and Core Partnership. There will be bookable diaries with the team Choice and Core Partnership appointments available.

How does this help?

It helps both managers and clinicians. Managers have a team plan that allows them to decide if the service is in balance and how to keep it there. It also allows them to have detailed conversations with commissioners. For clinicians, the job planning allows a range of skills to be planned and developed. They have an activity level that is manageable based on numbers that work. Clinicians know what they have to do, that others are working to the same rules and activities and are protected from overwork.

Managing the process

Job planning can be initially anxiety provoking for some team members. We are not used to the transparency outside our line management. This anxiety must be acknowledged and managed. It can take some time to get it done, but is worth it (in Richmond the first team job plan took a year and three goes!). Once people realise it is a way of helping them have a manageable and defined working week, and that job plans and team plans will be continually reviewed, anxiety subsides. Individual and team job plans should not be set in stone - if something is not working it needs reviewing. If someone wants to develop a new skill or take on a new role, the team can be rebalanced. This creativity and flexibility is refreshing!