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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Health and care support worker development

Background

In October 2021 the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) commissioned NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to undertake a review of career pathways for Healthcare Support Workers (HCSWs) working at levels 2-4 of the NHS Career Framework for Health. The aim of the commission was to scope and recommend a nationally agreed framework to support definition of Healthcare Support Worker (HCSW) roles, career progression and development through education and training, with a focus on how HCSWs support registered staff. 

Phases 1 & 2 focused on NMAHP roles which resulted in the production of the Development & Education Framework for Level 2-4 NMAHP HCSWs and the Framework for the Administration of Medicines by Level 3 & 4 HCSWs in Scotland.  The focus of the commission in phase 3 relates to Healthcare Science support workers.

FAQs

Since the Scottish Government commissioned NHS Education for Scotland to take forward work on education and development of Level 2-4 Healthcare Support Workers, several questions have arisen from stakeholders. This set of frequently asked questions and answers is designed to address some of the common enquiries.

Frequently asked questions (PDF)

Development and Education Framework for Levels 2 – 4 NMAHP Healthcare Support Workers

Following stakeholder consultation which closed 29.07.2022, the framework has been updated to reflect the feedback received.  Please note that the framework will in due course be incorporated into the NMAHP Development Framework. In the meantime we do not want to delay the use of the framework by health boards.  Please download the framework from the link below.

Development and Education Framework for Levels 2 – 4 NMAHP Healthcare Support Workers (DOCX)

Development and Education Framework for Levels 2 – 4 NMAHP Healthcare Support Workers (PDF)

Framework for the Administration of Medicines by Level 3 & 4 HCSWs in Scotland

Following extensive stakeholder consultation, the framework was developed to support health boards and sets out the national standards and legal frameworks to be followed in practice where HCSWs are administering medication. The framework was soft launched in June 2023 and formally launched at an online event held on 23 August 2023. 

The framework and supporting FAQs can be accessed on Turas Learn.

Associate Practice Educator Scoping Study

NHS Education for Scotland commissioned a review of the Associate Practice Educator role, which had been introduced in two NHS Health Boards (NHS Tayside and NHS Grampian). The research seeks to understand best practice related to the role and how it can overcome challenges around access to learning and development at work for Healthcare Support Worker (HCSWs).   The full report and executive summary can be accessed via the links below:

Associate Practice Educator Scoping Study Executive Summary (PDF)

Associate Practice Educator Scoping Study Full Report including Executive Summary (PDF)

NMAHP Professional Workforce Needs Analysis Tool

This workforce needs analysis can be used by Health Boards to strategically plan future workforce solutions or, at a more local level, to plan staffing for a single unit or specific field of clinical practice.   The document is divided into three sections:

  • Section A – Patient / Client Needs
  • Section B – Service / Speciality Skills Needs
  • Section C – Healthcare Support Worker / Assistant Practitioner Role

Download the workforce needs analysis tool from the link below

NMAHP Professional Workforce Needs Analysis Tool (DOC)

Supporting documents

Summary of the Healthcare Support Worker commission (PDF)

HCSW Education and Development Programme Phase 1 Report (PDF)

HCSW Education and Development Programme Phase 1 Letter from CNOD/NES (PDF)

Contact

HCSW@nes.scot.nhs.uk

Related links

Support worker central


Last updated: Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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