Workforce and Organisation of Care

Workforce and Organisation of Care

Introduction to Workforce and Organisation theme

Theme leader: Dr Diane Skåtun

The healthcare workforce is a crucial resource within any healthcare system. The Workforce and Organisation of Care theme examines the role of financial and non-financial incentives on the behaviour of individuals and the organisational structure in which they operate.

The theme’s research spans all aspects of the health workforce life-cycle; from training decisions at the start of a career through to career-end retirement decisions. Our research covers all occupational groups that make up the broad healthcare workforce including nurses, doctors and allied health professionals.

Our aim is to provide a better understanding of the healthcare workforce and in doing so, contribute to the evidence-base that informs policies designed to improve the delivery of care.

Current Projects 

'Come and work here': exploring the role of local community-led initiatives to improve recruitment and retention of healthcare staff in remote and rural areas
HERU contact: Diane Skåtun
Link: NIHR Award 133888
Exploring the business organisation of General Practice partnerships
HERU contact: Verity Watson
The project examined how business risk affects a practice’s prospects, and GP’s decisions to become or remain a practice partner or not. Through semi-structured interviews, the research explored how practices, and partners within practices, operate and organise themselves in the current system.
Location choices of general practice in Scotland
HERU contact: Verity Watson
The project seeks to understand what factors influence the location choices of General Practitioners (GPs) who are independent contractors. 
REAL Centre - Health Foundation Research and Economic Analysis for the Long term
HERU contact: Diane Skåtun
Link: REAL Centre
Remote and rural healthcare: pilot study to investigate experiences, differences, and changes to medical care for people living in remote and rural areas of Scotland
HERU contact: Diane Skåtun
This project aims to examine the public’s perspectives on accessing/receiving healthcare in rural areas across Scotland and how recent changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are changing the experience of rural healthcare. Focus groups and interviews are being applied to better understand how people living in rural areas are experiencing medical care with areas such as eHealth technologies, access to face-to-face appointments and ongoing care being explored. 
Understanding choices made through the medical training pathway
HERU contact: Diane Skåtun
The project follows on from a broader PhD project on ‘A mixed-methods study of career-decision making in Foundation Programme doctors’. The aim is to better understand the movement of medical trainees through the training pathway at a critical point where choices are made over progressing to speciality training.
Understanding nurses' workplace valuations
HERU contact: Diane Skåtun
Nurses form the largest group within the NHS workforce and understanding how they react to monetary incentives in terms of attracting them to jobs is a key challenge for policy makers. In this project we will consider how workforce characteristics act as a moderating or magnifying influence on behaviour in the presence of economic incentives.

Current PhD Projects

General Practitioner practices: the impact of contract changes on General Practices in Scotland
PhD student: Pauline Ogilvie
Supervisers: Verity Watson (HERU), R. Schulz (Business School, University of Aberdeen) and P. Murchie (Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen)


Recently Completed Projects

Enhancing recruitment and retention of rural doctors in Scotland: a mixed-methods study
HERU contact: Diane Skåtun
Link: CSO HIPS/19/37 summary report
LOCH - Lived experience of long term COVID-19 on NHS workers in healthcare settings in Scotland: a longitudinal mixed methods study
HERU contact: Diane Skåtun
Link: CSO Research Project Briefing
What keeps doctors practising? An investigation into the factors that influence doctors' retirement decisions
HERU contact: Diane Skåtun
The project was a collaboration with the University of Aberdeen Centre for Healthcare Education Research and Development (CHERI), and employed qualitative research and a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to investigate what factors doctors considered when deciding when to retire, the relative importance of these factors and how doctors might trade-off between them. The results, published in the journal Medical Education, highlight job-related characteristics that could inform decisions to delay retirement.

Recently Completed PhD Projects

The role of risk and time preferences and personality in clinical decision making
PhD Student: Xuemin Zhu
Supervisors: Marjon van der Pol (HERU); Scott, T. (Melbourne University); Allan, J. (Health Psychology, University of Aberdeen).