Workforce Redesign

Find out what workforce redesign is and how it can support you to develop and retain your existing workforce.

16 November 2021

Workforce redesign is about seeking new ways of working for your existing staff to develop their current skills and gain support in building resilience and confidence; meeting the needs of new organisational systems and processes to improve patient care.

It is important that when changes occur staff feel supported and are engaged in the process of your organisational transformation, which is where workforce redesign can be used to help your existing workforce adapt.

Examples of workforce redesign

  • Designing new roles for current staff based on their skill sets.
  • Introducing brand new roles to tackle workforce challenges such as staff shortages.
  • Developing new programmes and models to allow staff to work in other areas of expertise.
  • Increasing opportunities for current staff to broaden skills such as through apprenticeships.

Benefits of workforce redesign

Implementing workforce redesign effectively and making sure staff are part of the process can create significant benefits for staff, teams, patients and the organisation as a whole. These benefits include:

  • enhanced patient care and experience
  • improvements in staff retention
  • increase in recruitment
  • increased staff motivation and recognition, as staff feel part of the transformation
  • increased trust and efficient working within teams
  • empowered, more confident and skilled staff
  • increased staff satisfaction and morale, through development opportunities
  • increase in effective system working for organisations


We have compiled some resources below to support you in planning and executing new ideas for your workforce redesign.

  • The Roles Explorer (login required), hosted on the Future NHS platform is a collection of resources to support the planning and delivering of workforce redesign to introduce new roles, or innovative adaptations to existing roles already being deployed within a service or system. It provides information on the capabilities, training requirements and career frameworks for different roles, enabling workforce planners to choose the best fit for their service model. It also contains best practice planning methods and case studies which illustrate how roles are being deployed across different system priorities.
  • Health Education England’s multidisciplinary team (MDT) toolkit provides a comprehensive guide on building and developing effective multidisciplinary teams across a broad range of professional groups and system structures. It is designed to be relevant in any setting, to any objective and to progress a ‘one workforce’ approach.
  • Skills for Care’s principles of workforce redesign can help organisations who are undergoing any form of organisational restructure or transformation to set out the key things that need to be taken into account when changing the way your staff work, to ensure they play a role in change.  
  • The Supporting integration through new roles and working across boundaries report, commissioned by NHS Employers and the Local Government Association, looks at evidence on new roles and ways of bridging organisational workforce boundaries to deliver integrated health and social care.


Examples of good practice

  • London Ambulance Service (LAS) has developed its own first response initiative using the Mental Health Joint Response Car (MHJRC), which ensures patients with mental health conditions receive specialist care at the right time.

    The initiative has helped the trust to manage the number of unnecessary mental health related admissions to emergency departments, where teams have previously been unsure of the right care callers have needed.

    Read the full case study.

  • North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust identified a gap in their workforce and developed a band 2 Team Support Worker role that created a new pathway into NHS careers and helped reduce the pressures on staff during the pandemic.

    Read the full case study.

  • Antony Eneas, professional education lead, and Jill Pallister, professional education manager at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust decided to introduce a new band 3 role - the learning pastoral support worker - to be a point of contact for new healthcare support workers.

    Read the full case study here.

  • The NHS is exploring new ways of developing the skills of existing staff in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the service and to improve patient care.

    Watch our workforce redesign webinar, where Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust share good practice, discuss the topic of workforce redesign, and explain how they are doing things differently.