09th April 2020

urgent training needs of front line staffSince the sudden escalation of Covid-19, the increased demand on front-line staff has been met by a ‘Rapid response’ from NHS Trusts and organisations helping provide the necessary support to deliver essential patient care.

Last month NHS Professionals (NHSP) launched a national campaign to boost and support the wider NHS in attracting more healthcare professionals back into the service. The call was put out across the country to registered and unregistered healthcare workers, as well as a range of key roles in non-clinical areas, both currently working, or having recently retired and left the profession, to apply now to support the NHS in the fight against COVID-19.

The instantaneous reaction received from such individuals, from all corners of the UK, was positively overwhelming and simply inspiring, with thousands willing to ‘Stand up. Step forward. Save lives’. The solution is clear to all, that together we can beat this pandemic and continue to deliver a world-class healthcare service to patients.

As a result, Skills for Health have been working hand in glove alongside NHSP since, to ensure that thousands of returning staff, whether clinical or support workers, receive the best possible and up-to-date training needed to keep themselves and their patients safe.

The entire workforce is, as we speak, being equipped with immediate access to complete the appropriate statutory and mandatory Skills for Health Core Skills Training (CSTF) required, as quickly as possible, to enable them to start delivering the safe and effective patient care, at a scale so desperately needed.

Whilst this is a remarkable collective effort by all, for many, the prospect of the upcoming Easter bank holidays casts a shadow over this campaign. The added pressure on services and providers over a 4-day break, may mean the inability to cope with yet a further surge in demand. The challenge this presents across the UK, as the attempt to get key workers back to the front-line as quickly as possible, continues to be the number one priority for all.

The team at NHSP and Skills for Health are more than willing to work all hours, just as front-line colleagues have been for weeks, to continue onboarding and training staff so they can be well prepared to join the fight, at this critical time.

Online training such as the CSTF, delivered by Skills for Health, is vital to ensure that the returning workforce are highly skilled, and have the support, knowledge and guidance to provide quality patient care, for those in their time of need.

Paul Walker, Chief Technical Officer, Skills for Health commented:

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we are seeing a genuinely moving, collaborative effort across our public services, to do whatever we all can to ensure our front-line staff are as well prepared as possible to guarantee both their own safety, as well as their patients, and in turn deliver the outstanding patient care we know our NHS is capable of.

“Skills for Health has been a longstanding supporter of the digitisation of our vital healthcare sector and when they need us most, we are truly honoured to be able to play our part. We’re in this together, and together we will beat this pandemic and help save lives.”

The CSTF is available to all healthcare employers across the UK including NHS, independent healthcare providers and educational organisations. Developed, maintained and updated by Skills for Health, it provides a national ‘benchmark’ for the content of statutory/mandatory training and can be accessed here.

To further support existing healthcare professionals and those coming back to the front-line at this challenging time, Skills for Health delivered a dedicated Covid-19 online training resource on March 25, 2020, which has been made freely accessible to all here. This promotes additional advice and guidance, ensuring knowledge of coronavirus symptoms, infection prevention and control and investigation is consistent and up to date across the country.

Now, more than ever it is imperative that the entire workforce have the right information, the right skills, and most crucially, have it all at the right time.