Extending the scope of roles

Doctor looking at ultrasounds

There are a number of opportunities that exist for extending the roles of the non-medical professional workforce. 

Allied health professionals (AHPs)

NHS England 's online resource, Allied Health Professionals into Action: Using Allied Health Professionals to transform health, care and wellbeing, highlights a number of innovative approaches in the practice of AHPs. This resource provides a clear view of the transformative potential of AHPs, along with a framework to support local delivery plans.

Extending roles to be more efficient

Nottingham CityCare Partnership has introduced a new role called the ‘holistic worker’. Under the new model, health and social care workers in the urgent care team are trained in each other's disciplines to enable them to more efficiently respond to crisis calls, thereby avoiding unnecessary admissions to hospitals or care homes. Find out more in our case study

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (DCHS) developed a responsive workforce team as a way of meeting fluctuations in service demand while finding a better way of using the money spent on agency staff. The trust recruited staff with a range of skills and experience to a Band 6 nursing role, and engaged them in a training programme developed specifically for the role. Find out what impact it had in our case study.

Freedom to Speak up Guardians

Implementation of the Freedom to Speak up Guardian role provides a further example of how roles have recently been extended. This role is often one taken up by an existing member of the workforce. This case study from South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust explores some of the practical considerations the organisation needed to work through to make this appointment.

End-of-life care

One way in which trusts have recently extended skills and competence across the workforce to deliver more holistic services is through the delivery of end-of-life care training. On our end-of-life care web pages find out how trusts have invested in the continuing professional development of staff delivering care for patients at the end of their lives, and how this has improved outcomes for patients.


When rolling out new and extended roles, consideration often has to be given to back fill issues and how to support staff undertaking traditional roles. There is much that can be learned from the experiences of those who employ reservists and how they manage to continue to deliver services when staff members are deployed. Find case studies, blogs and resources on our reservists web pages.

Peer-to-peer support

While patients should always remain at the heart of decisions regarding role redesign, improvements in patient care can often be an indirect consequence of supporting staff in different ways. In this case study from East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust find out how the organisation launched a peer-to-peer support programme to improve mental wellbeing across the workforce. 

Reshaping the workforce

When examining the trends likely to impact on future workforce change, the Nuffield Trust report Reshaping the workforce to deliver the care patients need made reference to the increasing part that technology, particularly digital technology, has to play in this agenda. This case study from Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust explains how a new digital maternity service was developed and resourced within the trust. 

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