The Skills for Health Academy North West works with a range of partners to deliver education and learning programmes for people who wish to work, or who are currently working in the healthcare sector. With the support of NHS organisations the Academy coordinates and delivers programmes aimed at promoting the NHS as a career of choice for young people and supporting pre-employment programmes aimed at getting people on working age benefits back into work.
The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) have released Everyone Counts: Planning for Patients 2013/14, which outlines the incentives and levers that will be used to improve services from April 2013, the first year of the new NHS, where improvement is driven by clinical commissioners.
The North West (NW) Allied Health Professions (AHP) Workforce and Education Report provides a comprehensive profile of the current (2012) regional AHP workforce, and identifies workforce risks and opportunities for this professional group in the future.The NW AHP Workforce Board is a strategic group focusing on a broad range of issues to support the AHP workforce. The Board provides strategic leadership and influence, working in partnership with key stakeholders at a national and local level.
The Student Quality Ambassador (SQA) Project was rolled out in December 2011 by the North West Strategic Health Authority. Any healthcare student from across the North West can become an ambassador, with students so far including; nurses from four different fields, midwives, a dual qualification nurse/social worker, a speech and language therapist and a biomedical scientist.
A national vision and call to action for school nursing services has been recently published and the North West is investing in an implementationprogramme to support the partners involved in this work. The implementation programme is being led by the Child Health Development Programme and the North West Regional Youth Work Unit and wish to hear from all involved partners to explore their views, needs and support mechanisms they would like to see employed in this project. The project will last until the end of the year and will cover all North West areas.
Preceptorship is a well evidenced mechanism to support the transition of newly qualified Health Care Professional to competent practitioner. It can reduce transitional stress associated with realising their full accountability whilst being a novice competent Health Care Practitioner by being provided with structured support, advice and from a colleague.
In recent years the numbers of health visitors in the workforce have declined, as has the number of health visitor student placements offered by PCTs. Increasing the numbers in the health visitor workforce is part of the NHS Operating Framework and the SHA (Strategic Health Authority) Assurance Framework as well as a key priority for the government as set out in the coalition agreement and comprehensive spending review. This document seeks to outline what the North West objectives and implementation plan is following the recent call to action.
There is increasing recognition at a national level that our health and social care workforces need to work differently - across traditional professional boundaries, in different settings, with greater communication and integration with other services, at all levels of the career framework, with different individual skills and team skill mixes.The predicted ageing of our population, with increasingly complicated health and care needs, led to the introduction of the national Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention programme (QIPP) in 2008.
Health Education England’s mandate recognises the importance of the integrated care agenda. It commits to work closely with the Health and Social Care sector on workforce planning, modelling, training and development, to ensure a workforce responsive to the changing models of care both now and in the future.To ensure the success of integrated Health and Social Care the workforce needs to support redesign and this can only be achieved if this runs in parallel with workforce development.
Allied Health Profession (AHP) services are often perceived as being Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm services. Anecdotally there is evidence that services have already undergone modernisation and have moved away from this model; however there is limited evidence to support this. There is also the perception that AHPs are managed and delivered in professional silos. Again anecdotal evidence is that AHPs are working in inter and multi-professional teams, but little evidence is available to support this view.