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Frailty Core Capabilities Framework

Health Education England (HEE) and NHS England have commissioned the development of a Frailty Core Capabilities Framework. The framework will aim to identify and describe the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to deliver high quality, compassionate care and support. It will provide a single, consistent and comprehensive framework on which to base review and development of staff.

Frailty remains a new area for much of the workforce and as such work is now needed to position frailty as a long term condition and underpin it with the upskilling of the workforce. The framework will build on, and be cross-referenced to existing core skills frameworks such as those for statutory/mandatory subjects, dementia, end of life care and person-centred approaches.

The framework aims to describe core capabilities i.e. knowledge, skills and behaviours which are common and transferable across different types of service provision – including health, social care, local government and housing sectors. The framework will be applicable to employees, patients, carers, the community, the public and also to educational organisations which train students who will subsequently be employed in the workforce.

  • Scope

    The core capabilities described in the framework are defined at three tiers:

    Tier 1 - Those that require general awareness of frailty

    This tier outlines the capabilities that will support people with frailty in accessing care, as well as their family, friends and carers, to ensure they are making the most of the support on offer and are able to plan effectively for their own current and future care needs. This tier is also relevant to those working in health, social care and other services who have limited contact with people with frailty.

    Tier 2 - Health, social care and other staff who regularly encounter people living with frailty within their working environment.

    Tier 3 - Health, social care and other professionals who provide expert care and lead services for people living with frailty.

    Additional specialist or organisation specific skills and knowledge are outside the scope of the framework. Such additional capabilities may be locally determined to meet education and training needs in specific settings for example according to local context, risk assessment or policy.

  • Benefits

    The framework will provide a standard structure and language in a multi-professional framework and enable greater consistency and portability in frailty core capabilities. Examples of practical applications of the framework include:

    • Planning and designing content of education and training
    • Conducting training needs analysis and commissioning education and training
    • Commissioning service models that truly enable a person-centred approach
    • Enabling commissioners and providers to establish the standard of clinical care and a clear developmental pathway within multi-professional teams
    • Identifying key skills and knowledge for roles and teams and enabling skill mix reviews

    The framework capabilities can also be incorporated in the education curricula of higher education institutions – to ensure that students on placements or new graduates entering the workplace have already gained the core capabilities when they enter practice.

  • Development of the framework

    A project management group including stakeholder organisations such as British Geriatric Society, Age UK, Local Government Association, Foundations, Royal College of General Practitioners, Heath Education England and NHS England will guide development of the framework. Dr Dawn Moody, NHS England Associate National Clinical Director, chairs the Project Management Group.

    The framework development will be informed by an initial mapping of existing documents and resources. Iterations of the framework will be developed based on the findings of the mapping process, consultation with the project management group and focus groups with patients/service users and carers. A wider range of stakeholders/individuals will also be able to register interest in the project and will have the opportunity to participate in an online survey to consult on the draft framework.

    The framework is scheduled for completion by the end of April 2018.

Register to be involved:

For the opportunity to participate in an online survey to consult on the draft framework, please complete the form below. You will then be informed when the survey goes live (expected February 2018).

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