The Talent for Care: A National Strategic Framework to Develop the Healthcare Support Workforce

Source: Health Education England (HEE) and the Talent for Care programme partnership

Link to main document (supporting information available on a section of the HEE website)

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: October 2014

Summary of driver:

Talent for Care is part of Health Education England’s Framework 15, a national guide to action in all aspects of workforce planning, education and training across health and care, and focuses on the support workforce (those in Agenda for Change roles banded 1-4 and their equivalents).

The support workforce makes up 40% of the total NHS workforce and provide around 60% of patient care, yet this group receives less than 5% of the national training budget.

Health Education England is working with various national, regional and local partners to change this picture, to increase investment in the support workforce and to spread good practice and innovation.

Key features of driver:

Talent for Care focuses on ten strategic intentions under the three primary themes of Get In, Get On and Go Further:

Get In:

  • Broaden the ways into training and employment in the NHS, especially to attract more young people and improve diversity within the workforce
  • Increase the chances for people to try new experiences of working in the NHS
  • Engage more staff to act as NHS Ambassadors who can promote NHS careers to schools, colleges and local communities

Get On:

  • Challenge and support every NHS employer and contractor to implement a development programme for all support staff that is over and above annual appraisals and mandatory training
  • All new Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers to achieve the new Care Certificate and, for those that want it, a universally recognised Higher Care Certificate (as of October 2015, work on the Higher Care Certificate is on hold while the Care Certificate is embedded)
  • Double the number of HEE funded or supported apprenticeships by March 2016 and establish an NHS Apprenticeship offer

Go Further:

  • Simplify career progression with new roles and pathways to promotion, including more part-time higher education as a route into nursing and other registered professions
  • Agree with employers and education providers a universal acceptance of prior learning, vocational training and qualifications
  • Support talent development that identifies and nurtures people with the potential to go further, especially for those wanting to move into professional and registered roles

Making it happen

  • The national Talent for Care programme partnership will support this framework with a national campaign. They will publish information, support pilot projects and spread good practice to continue building the engagement and commitment of all healthcare communities

Primary audience: LETBs, Education and Training departments, Trade Unions

Impact on library policy/practice:

Library workforce:

Whilst the strategy is mainly aimed at the support workforce providing care, there may be implications for the library workforce, with more emphasis on the development and training of para-professional staff, development of career pathways, and more recognition of Certification as a way into professional roles.

There may be a need to provide increased opportunities for work experience or placements within library services.

Library services:

There may be new roles and ways of working within health services that require changes to our membership criteria, such as more apprentices, placements or work experience candidates. There may also be an increase in support workers doing part-time higher education courses as a route into registered professions, and these may require more support for information literacy skills.

Library resources:

There may be a need to supply more knowledge resources at a suitable level for healthcare support workers, especially as they undertake more development and training. Once the Higher Care Certificate is launched, libraries may want to look at resources to support it.

Whilst healthcare support workers are not included as a named group in the ‘Increase in use’ metric of K4H, this is a group that is traditionally under-represented in library usage and there is an opportunity to promote libraries as ideally placed to help support them. This may be through other means than just books, and could include making our spaces available for informal meetings, provision of WiFi, provision of IT training facilities, or signposting to help and support. The challenge may be to translate this into metrics we can use to show our impact.

Date last updated: October 2015

Due for review: October 2016

Group member responsible: JC

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