Producing a workforce development report for North-West Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening programmes

19th January 2024

Close up to medical ultrasound diagnostic machine

The NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening programme aims to reduce AAA related mortality by screening men aged 65.

The Challenge

A significant challenge for the AAA screening programme is the lack of skilled workforce – a national issue also impacting the North-West. There is no defined pool of AAA screening technicians or agency/bank AAA screening staff for providers to recruit from.

This is ongoing work to increase public awareness and uptake of AAA screening, which is likely to increase future demand. This will result in the need to adopt a more sustainable and resilient workforce model in future.

NHS England North-West commissioned the NHS Transformation Unit to provide clear evidence for the future workforce requirements, and to identify different approaches to recruitment, training, and development of roles within the programme.

Our Approach

To produce our comprehensive workforce development report, we used our expertise in workforce development and stakeholder engagement. Our review focused on the following three key objectives:

  1. To provide a situational analysis of current workforce
  • We established the baseline position and current profile of the AAA screening workforce.
  1. To understand future AAA workforce requirements
  • We outlined the potential workforce profile needed across the North-West in line with similar models, best practice, the ageing population, and the increase in those eligible for AAA screening.
  1. To explore options available to futureproof the workforce.
  • We described and evaluated potential options for further consideration and development. We developed and evaluated these options by carrying out thorough engagement and feasibility testing.

The Outcome

We combined research, data insights and stakeholder engagement to outline options to futureproof the workforce. The aim is to increase screening capacity, improve screening resilience and improve employee resilience. The options provide recommendations for action at a local, regional, and national level.

The client was delighted with the outcomes of this work, providing the following feedback:

“The team were very organised and met all timelines within the plan. The presentation of the work undertaken was excellent and there were clear outcomes and recommendations. The whole team working on this project were very professional and all performed to a very high standard.”