Unlocking the huge skills potential within the Care workforce

James Sinclair’s blog looks at what needs to change within the system to embrace true workforce innovation.

There is huge unlocked potential within the Care workforce.  These are experienced and highly skilled staff who can do much more than our current system allows. With the right systems in place they can support the delivery of delegated healthcare tasks in a way that truly realises the proactive, preventative and person centred approach to health and care that is so often quoted but rarely seen.

This isn’t a hypothetical statement. We already know that care staff can develop through apprenticeships to support district nursing and AHP delivery within the care setting. We’ve run successful pilot training programmes of Nursing Associates and AHP Enablement Champions in care homes and seen what they can deliver for residents and staff.

This isn’t just a ‘nice thing to have’ which larger providers offer as an occasional development opportunity. The delegation of health tasks to qualified Care staff is an example of the true integration we’ve all been tasked to deliver and must become business as usual to face the recruitment, retention and delivery challenges faced across the system.

This isn’t a top down approach with no local traction or appetite. Care staff, Care providers, district nurses, AHPs, system leads and commissioners are supportive of this approach. They recognise and champion the benefits to residents, staff and the whole system that it can bring.

So why is it so difficult to roll this out and begin to realise the true benefits at scale?

The answer lies in processes, structures and cultures not keeping up with the ambitions for a better way of doing things that we see everyday. Health and care systems are entrenched in a historic and siloed way of working which thwarts the continual best efforts of the innovative people within them.

This is where we need to see change, and dedicated programmes of change. We desperately need systems of finance, IG, procurement, IT, supervision, delegation (to name just a few) that facilitate the changes we need to see and not be the barriers to a better approach.

If you’d like to learn more about the work we’ve done delivering workforce innovation, please get in touch.

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