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Case Study – Cardiac and Stroke Networks in Lancashire and Cumbria

Cath lab worker role profile and training programme across organisations and systems to improve care for coronary heart disease patients

The Lancashire and South Cumbria Cardiac Network aims to secure the commitment of clinical and managerial staff to work together with patients to improve the quality of care for people who have Coronary Heart Disease by working across organisations and following the patient journey. The Lancashire and South Cumbria Cardiac Network (LSCC Network) planned to achieve its aims through the successful implementation of a Network Strategic Planning Framework.

The Cardiac Network supported a new cardiac catheter laboratory development in East Lancashire, and a training programme enabled staff to achieve clinical competences within this development was being implemented.

Previously a training programme has been developed to deliver theoretical and practical training for:

  • four physiologists (one-year training, one day per week; two months assessment; preparation of lab; training on specialised onsite equipment). It is planned to provide training for more staff if capacity allowed
  • up to four nurses/senior sisters (two months full-time practical training; two months assessment). Also, Ward staff and recovery staff visited the day-care unit at Blackpool to learn about recovery procedures (e.g. removing the sheaths)
  • up to four radiographers/senior radiographers (six months training, two days per week; two months assessment)

A formal agreement was reached to provide practical training at the Tertiary Centre, Blackpool. Formal assessment at the Tertiary Centre. Theory to be taught at the District General Hospital by Blackpool and Cardiac Network staff.

Key aims

  • To establish role profiles to allow a training programme to be developed for a diagnostic cardiac catheterisation laboratory in East Lancashire
  • To look at generic units to enable training together to be delivered, and to look at specialised units and tailor training to meet those needs

Radiographers and nursing staff worked collaboratively to develop Role Profiles for technicians, radiographers and nursing staff, highlighting which units were appropriate for each staff group. Meetings were held with radiographers (Julie Kelsall, Deborah Forsyth), and nursing staff (Sue Arthur, Tracey Schofield) to identify appropriate units.

Guidance and support were provided to the teams throughout the pilot. Feedback comments were brought together for discussion at a meeting with Rekha Wadhwani, the Skills for Health technical consultant.

Each unit was looked at in detail and provided feedback, thoughts and amendments regarding those units. The meetings generated a considerable amount of discussion in identifying and sorting out the knowledge and skills required by the relevant staff members.

The amended units were incorporated within the training programme being delivered. The role profile questionnaire from phase 1 was very useful in developing the role profiles for each staff member. The new units have been incorporated within each role profile. It was felt that this really highlighted the skills that a new trainee needs to acquire to be competent at their tasks because the performance criteria are more detailed.

Plans for using the CHD competence framework moving forward included:

  • to use the framework as an assessment tool for ensuring the role profile is right, that the right units have been chosen, and that the units cover all essential requirements (e.g. underpinning knowledge)
  • Tracey Schofield will incorporate some of the (amended) units in her training courses to be used at Blackpool for a healthcare practitioners’ role currently being piloted
  • The training programme may be used for catheter laboratories coming online in the future
  • If successful, the framework can be used for other services (e.g. pacing services) and for developing new roles (e.g. HCA)

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