Skills for Health
Skills for Health Newsletter
Winter 2011/12

Our regular newsletter brings you the latest workforce solutions, project updates and key information direct to your inbox.

A new year and new faces

Coming up in 2012

UKCES Employer Investment Fund

CEO attends Parliamentary Health Select Committee

UK's first ever Core Skills and Training Framework

New standards for underpinning safe and effective care

New roles and progression deliver cost savings and better service

E-learning – learner numbers on the rise and new courses available

Positive Ofsted monitoring review of Skills for Health

New finance cadet wins Canoe Polo Awards

News in Brief

Apprenticeship Frameworks delivered by Skills for Health

Equipping people with the right skills – launch of the SQS

Employers: have your say on NOS consultation

Supporting people with dementia

Skills for Health is the employer-led Sector Skills Council for the health sector, serving the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors (2.1m employees throughout the UK).
www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

A New Year and New Faces

Over recent months Skills for Health has undergone a significant restructuring as part of our desire to continually improve the representation, value and services to employers. We are pleased to introduce our new team of country and regional representatives:

Tim Lund – Director for Northern England
Anne Clarke – Director for Southern England
Mark Lyall – Director for Western England
Kathy Tyler – Director for London & Southeast England
Lorna Hunter –Director for Scotland & Northern Ireland
Anne Clarke – Director for Wales.

Appointment for Eastern England will be announced shortly.

Our team is focused and dedicated to developing further our close relationships with employers and stakeholders at a local level and will be holding introductory meetings over the coming weeks. For their contact details please see the new contacts page on our website www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/contact-us

Coming up in 2012

Skills for Health will be introducing a range of new initiatives and resources during 2012.

Multi-professional Rostering - Having significantly enhanced our award winning Doctors Rostering System (DRS Realtime), bringing real efficiency and benefit to the day to day management of medical staff, work is underway to extend this solution to multi-professional rostering with an integrated solution available circa mid-2012.

Common Framework - We are in the advanced stages of developing a Core Skills Framework for statutory and mandatory training for the UK health sector. This will support greater utilisation of staff and produce cost savings through greater consistency of training and reducing duplication. For more information, see the article 'UK's first ever Core Skills and Training Framework'.

Investors in People is a recognised framework enabling employers to achieve sustained organisation improvement. It is applicable to organisations whether they are an NHS, independent or voluntary care provider. Skills for Health will be aiming to actively support employers to secure the substantial benefits from the revised Investors in People standard. More on this will emerge in early 2012.

If you would like more information please email info@skillsforhealth.org.uk

UKCES Employer Investment Fund

Skills for Health has been successful in securing investment funds from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills for three new major initiatives. This includes a quality mark scheme for skills training and development for the UK health sector. Through the quality mark employers will have greater assurance and confidence when investing in training and development and achieve greater return.

We will also be seeking to establish new local employer networks allowing employers to share expertise and specific solutions in delivering workforce re-design to provide better quality and more productive services. The network will operate across the UK and will be supported by a virtual network. Limited funding will be available to support selected local projects.

A final part of the investment is a programme of work to develop new transferable role templates for the support workforce. We are currently in the mobilisation stage of taking these projects forward in 2012/13.

If you would like more information on any of these developments please email info@skillsforhealth.org.uk

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CEO attends Parliamentary Health Select Committee

On 29th November 2011 John Rogers, Chief Executive of Skills for Health, gave evidence to the Health Select Committee on Education, Training and Workforce Planning. His session was combined with evidence from Anna van der Gaag (Chair, Health Professions Council), Professor Tony Hazel (Chair, Nursing Midwifery Council) and Professor Les Ebdon (Chair, million+).

Much of the session focused on the development needs of support workers (around bands 1-4), with John Rogers highlighting that this group of staff represent 40% of the health workforce, but only attracts 3% of workforce development investment. Given that the development of these staff is critical to achieving the £20 billion productivity challenge in England, he expressed concern that investment in their development would come under threat as budgets tighten over the next 2-3 years. These views were endorsed by the other attendees giving evidence who supported the need for continued investment in this significant part of the workforce.

For more information on the Health Select Committee inquiry on Education, Training and Workforce Planning visit the Commons Select Committee website.

UK's first ever Core Skills and Training Framework

Skills for Health is developing a common framework for statutory and mandatory training for the UK health sector, building on work already undertaken in several NHS regions in England. In parallel, consultation is underway with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The core framework will offer the health sector common guidance and standards in this key area of learning for all health sector staff.

A consultation on the demand and support for a Core Skills Framework has just been completed with over 1000 responses. Initial analysis confirms very strong support for this initiative and overwhelming agreement on the need for standardisation. A full report of the analysis is available on our website.

The Core Skills Framework should be available to organisations from April 2012 and will:

  • provide up-to-date and authoritative guidance on minimum required standards
  • help support quality assurance of training
  • enable cost saving through reducing unnecessary duplication of training
  • encourage portability and recognition of appropriate learning.

The benefits of the Core Skills Framework will be further enhanced through use of the Skills Passport system being developed by Skills for Health.

For more information on the framework please contact mike.farrell@skillsforhealth.org.uk

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New Standards for underpinning safe and effective care

Healthcare support workers and adult social care workers play an important role in delivering high quality care.

We are pleased to announce that Skills for Health and Skills for Care have been invited by the Department of Health (DH, England) to develop a framework that will ensure healthcare support workers and adult social care workers in England are supported in delivering safe and effective care through the development of a Code of Conduct and minimum standards including those for induction. The outcomes of the project will be used to inform any future plans for voluntary regulation of these roles.

In discussion with DH, Skills for Health and Skills for Care are developing the project plans and identifying the outcomes to be delivered. We will present a first draft of the project plan to DH by the end of January 2012. Once these have been agreed by all parties, we will begin the project with a range of stakeholders to progress the initiative taking account of similar work that has already been undertaken especially in other UK nations.

To find out more please email Christina.Pond@skillsforhealth.org.uk

New roles and progression deliver cost savings and better service

As healthcare employers seek to raise productivity and improve quality, Skills for Health has a range of resources available to help them get the most from the entire workforce. Through new competence based 'transferable roles' (TRs), NHS organisations are achieving remarkable productivity gains. The TRs meet the required practice standards, are mapped to indicative learning and linked to vocational training, making them an excellent option for employers keen to support progression for their workforce. Over 60 TR templates are now available on the Skills for Health website, and evidence of the benefits to be achieved is compelling:

  • The Hand Therapist Advanced Practitioner TR helped reduce consultant waiting times at Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust from 10 weeks to just two, whilst reducing costs.
  • The Myocardial Perfusion Stress Testing TR helped North Cumbria University Hospital NHS Trust reduce diagnostic waiting times from 72 weeks to under six.
  • A new suite of TRs for cancer and chemotherapy staff will increase transferability, improve recruitment and retention and help to harmonise learning and development opportunities. This will save money and time as employers will have a clear understanding of the skills and competences their staff require to deliver a quality service.

Visit the Skills for Health website to view the Transferable Roles

Complementing the TRs is a free, step by step guide to developing staff for NHS organisations in England, produced by Skills for Health. 'Growing Your Own – A Practical Guide to Growing Your Own Professionals for the New NHS'. This was an outcome of the DIUS funded project based in the Thames Gateway along with a detailed case study looking at Assistant Practitioners, new roles and progression pathways in Newham University Hospitals Trust, to be published in early 2012.

For more information or advice on developing new roles and progression pathways contact your Skills for Health country or regional representative www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/contact-us

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E-learning – learner numbers on the rise and new courses available

E-learning is a proven cost effective, flexible way for staff to access training anywhere, anytime. The number of employers adopting this method of training is growing as it reduces costs and interruptions to service. We have seen a significant increase in learners completing online training with Skills for Health with 100,000 learner completions in 2010 rising to 240,000 in 2011. Having over 20,000 completions a month reinforces SfH's position as the largest provider of e-learning to the health sector.

Users are able to access courses through the Skills for Health e-learning website, supported by a dedicated learner support helpline. Our courses can also be accessed via the National Management Learning System in England. All SfH courses are mapped to the KSF and National Occupational Standards (NOS). In England, courses are also mapped to the Care Quality Commission and the NHS Litigation Authority standards to improve compliance. In other parts of the UK they are mapped to equivalent regulatory bodies' requirements.

Our latest e-learning courses include a new version of the Child Protection Awareness in Health course. Developed by the NSPCC in partnership with Educare, it helps develop knowledge of the signs of child abuse. New infection prevention courses will be launched at the end of January 2012 – 'Infection Prevention & You', 'Principles of Infection Prevention' and 'Vascular Access Devices'.

For more information or a free trial of our e-learning courses please visit www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/e-learning or call 0845 330 6507.

Positive Ofsted monitoring review of Skills for Health

Skills for Health offers support to employers in England via our significant Skills Funding Agency contract for the promotion of apprentices and development of adult skills.

Following a monitoring visit in November 2011, Ofsted Inspectors noted the continual progress SfH has made since their last formal inspection. They particularly noted our strong organisational commitment and the positive feedback received from employers and learners.

Their key findings and observations were:

  • Our quality structure provides a firm foundation for monitoring and reviewing learner progression.
  • Learners enjoy attractive, well-presented, professional and high quality learning programmes and materials
  • The high success rate of young apprenticeships.
  • Our recently awarded Matrix accreditation in the North West.

SfH is encouraged by the feedback received and remains committed to achieving high standards on behalf of learners and employers.

For more information please email John.Bateson@skillsforhealth.org.uk

SfH ATA apprentice wins Canoe Polo Awards

Kate Mather is one of the first Finance Cadet Apprentices employed through Skills for Health Apprenticeship Training Agency (ATA). As well as making a great start to her apprenticeship, she has enjoyed success on the sporting front. Congratulations to Kate and her Canoe Polo Club colleagues who participated in the European Club Championships during September in Holland. They won all 10 games, becoming the best team in Europe.

To date all 16 of our Finance Apprentices have started on placement with NHS Trusts across Merseyside. So far 131 young people have been recruited through Skills for Health ATA to undertake Apprenticeship Frameworks in Healthcare, Finance and Business Administration.

Our ATA makes it easier for healthcare employers to take on apprentices, by removing the more burdensome tasks such as recruitment, identifying training partners and pre-employment checks. To find out more about how Skills for Health can help your organisation benefit from apprenticeships please contact your Skills for Health country or regional representative www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/contact-us

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News in Brief

Apprenticeship Frameworks delivered by Skills for Health

The Skills for Health' team in NE England is now accredited to deliver 10 apprenticeship frameworks. These include optical retail, clinical healthcare support, healthcare support and health and social care at levels 2 and 3, and management at level 5. Find out how we can help you with apprenticeships or to work with us in delivering your programmes, email anne.close@skillsforhealth.org.uk

Equipping people with the right skills – launch of the SQS

Skills for Health's second Sector Qualification Strategy 'Skilled for the Future 2011' is now available. The Strategy was completed in July 2011 following widespread consultation with employers. Accompanied by individual UK country Actions Plans, these documents are all available to view online. Download your copy from the Skills for Health website here.

Employers: have your say on NOS consultation

The Dental Nursing and Dental Technology NOS consultation begins February 1st 2012. Have your say and ensure the NOS meet the needs of employers and dental care practitioners. The UK wide consultation will last for six weeks, until March 14th. To take part, email dentalnosreview@skillsforhealth.org.uk or respond online www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/consultations

Supporting people with dementia

Skills for Health and Skills for Care have been commissioned by the Department of Health to deliver a series of one day workshops to provide an introduction to the Common Core Principles for Dementia. The principles provide a framework for learning and development and form the foundation for good practice for staff working with people with dementia. These integrated 'train the trainer' workshops are aimed at workforce and training leads from health and social care. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so to be sure of your place, register here.

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About us

Skills for Health (SfH) is the employer-led Sector Skills Council for the health sector, serving the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors (2.1m employees throughout the UK). SfH was relicensed in 2009 with an 'outstanding' contribution to workforce redesign. We are the authoritative voice on skills issues for the health sector and offer employers proven workforce solutions and tools – with the expertise and experience to use them effectively.

Visit www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

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