The Talent for Care project is setting a national strategic framework for the development of the support workforce in the NHS.
The education, training and development of the support workforce (roles banded 1-4 and their equivalents) has been identified as a key priority in the mandate to Health Education England (HEE) from the Department of Health and forms a core part of the work of HEE’s Local Education and Training Boards.
A particular focus on improving the training and education for Health Care Assistants is being driven by the Francis Report and the Cavendish Review, while The Talent for Care project emphasises the importance of development for all staff in this workforce.
The staff in Bands 1-4 roles make up around 40% of the 1.3 million workers in the NHS and are responsible for an estimated 60% of direct patient contact. It is essential that the investment in training and development for this workforce begins to change to reflect the contribution they make to patient care.
From January to March 2014 we went out to consultation on our draft plans for a national strategic framework, asking for the views of a wide range of people including staff in bands 1-4 roles, line managers, employers, trade unions, representatives from higher education and other key partners and representative bodies. We received a significant amount of feedback that showed clear support for a national strategic framework and some key themes as to what is needed to make it happen. Over the last few months, we have been analysing this feedback and formulating our plans accordingly. The outcome of the consultation and our response to it will be available shortly.
We are continuing to work on the draft national strategic framework during the summer, collaborating with our key partners to ensure we address government drivers and all that we heard during the consultation. Subject to approval from the Health Education England Board, the strategic framework will be launched in the autumn. Meanwhile there is ongoing work under each of the project workstreams that is making and will make a real difference to staff in bands 1-4 roles.