Tools and resources

Nurse checking machine

With the support workforce providing assistance to the full range of professionally qualified clinical staff in health and care settings, many organisations have developed guides, toolkits, models, standards and reports that are of use to employers.

Here we provide links to those organisations and documents in one easy to access place. Within our tools and resources pages you will find:

Useful links

The following NHS Employers pages will be of particular help when considering the shape of the support workforce:

  • Our nursing workforce web pages contain Briefings such as 'The role of the nurse' which consider the support workforce as part of future workforce design.
  • Out staff engagement web pages contain tools and resources to help you engage your staff.
  • Our age profiling briefing will assist you in understanding your current workforce profile.

Many organisations have independently designed tools and resources that are of use when developing the support workforce. Find out more about:

  • Many employers are working in partnership with JobCentre Plus to make recruit high quality support staff who demonstrate the values and behaviours necessary to provide excellent patient care. Listen to our Podcast with St Georges Trust who is doing just that.
  • Skills for Health has produced a case study document using information provided by Newham University Hospital Trust. The document New Roles and Progression Pathways in Newham University Hospitals Trust: Assistant Practitioners demonstrates the key role assistant practitioners have to play in the delivery of high quality services and patient care.
  • Skills for Health has produced an expert paper 'The role of Assistant Practitioners in the NHS: factors affecting evolution and development of the role'  which helps identify the reasons and current issues employers face with the introduction of the role.
  • The NHS North West and the Council of Deans for Health have developed a free e-learning tool, the Standardised Numeracy Assessment Process (SNAP). The e-learning tool is hosted by the University of Chester and assists employers with the assessment of staff numeracy skills and develop them further. 
  • Skills for Health career and competence frameworks, core standards for assistant practitioners and update information to the qualifications framework.
  • Skills for Health has produced a video to highlight the benefits of using apprenticeships in the NHS.
  • Skills for Care provides information about developing a skilled workforce, qualifications and training in social care.
  • The website has a useful section explaining qualifications.
  • The Curriculum and Development Agency has details about the changes to vocational qualifications from January 2011.
  • The National Apprenticeship Service provides advice for employers on using apprentices.
  • NHS Information Centre has developed ‘iView’, an online tool populated with data drawn from the Electronic Staff Record to help organisations understand the shape of their current workforce. It also provides details on workforce statistics and other resources.
  • The UNISON website has details regarding healthcare assistants.
  • The Royal College of Nursing has developed a healthcare assistant toolkit.
  • The Royal College of Nursing has produced a UK wide scoping report containing details of the number of assistant practitioners (APs) in the UK, the training and development of APs, the tasks and professional boundaries they work across and the impact their role has on patients, the nursing team and the AP.  
  • The Royal College of Midwives has a learning and developmentguide for maternity support workers.
  • The Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) Network has published a digest that contains information, the latest research and case studies to help employers make the best use of their support workforce.
  • NHS North West produced a toolkit called Test the Trust, to assist organisations with the development of the essential skills of literacy, language and numeracy in their workforce.  
  • The Royal College of Nursing has produced guidance on the Roles and responsibilities of occupational health support workers. The document provides a definition of the role of a occupational health support worker, how their role can be developed and training pathways available to them to achieve this development.
  • The Royal College of Nursing has produced a report 'The assistant practitioner role in children and young people’s services'The report recommends the development of an assistant practitioner role (child), specifically trained to deliver a high level of service to young people and their families.

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