quote HEE facebook linkedin twitter bracketDetail search file-download keyboard-arrow-down keyboard-arrow-right close event-note

Development and delivery of health and social care practitioner career pathway

The aim of the project was to develop a new career pathway for health and social care practitioners

The project, led by North Devon District Hospital, was to develop and deliver a variety of competent health and social care practitioners, initially to be delivered across a large area of Devon.  It was anticipated that this new and innovative model of workforce would deliver a new career pathway, challenging historical models, providing potential career progression from bands two to six based upon competence and qualification outside of the historical professions.

Practitioners would be highly developed in communication, decision and planning skills, as well as co-ordination, supporting and escalation skills.  The roles would enhance and complement existing models of care working innovatively within the integrated care teams and working as part of the wider health and social care teams.

The vision was to develop a series of roles based upon health and social care competencies underpinned by an academic pathway.  There would be clear career progression leading to a new career pathway that would support staff to develop without the need to undertake a qualification leading to professional registration such as nursing or therapies.

This model of workforce would be effective in supporting recruitment challenges faced by Trusts through national shortages of many professions and support the Trust in delivering its five year forward view, as we seek to become a multispecialty community provider (MCP).

The new roles were:

•           Community support roles;

•           Band 2 Health and social care peripatetic care worker;

•           Band 3 Health and social care peripatetic support worker;

•           Band 4 Health and social care peripatetic Assistant Practitioner;

•           Band 5 Health and social care peripatetic Advanced Practitioner;

•           Band 6 Health and social care peripatetic Specialist Practitioner.

These roles will work across health and social care settings in the community, but also plan to rotate into the acute site,  helping patient flow either actively pushing patient flow through the system or pulling back into the community.and social care peripatetic Specialist Practitioner,

At the start of the project, Darryn Allcorn, Director of Workforce and Development, North Devon District Hospital, Barnstaple said:

"There is significant multi-professional interest and commitment to this project from across health and social care. Scoping and development has already enlisted the support and commitment from other health and social care providers.  The momentum of the project is gathering pace and the framework is starting to develop a clear pathway for staff development that will support patient pathways and best the most appropriate settings of care."

The project was completed in March 2016.

Following a review of the project, the following achievements, benefits and lessons were identified:

Key achievements:

  • The project developed and started to implement a new career pathway that went beyond the traditional limitations attributed to a non-registered workforce, breaking through the perceived glass ceiling at band 4. The change was not only to develop a multi-professional skill set, but to start to deliver cross organisational form with roles that deliver high levels of patient satisfaction.
  • Outcomes look set to support patients, avoiding unnecessary admissions, reduce length of stay and reduce the number of professionals required to support a patient in their own home, through multi-professional peripatetic approach dependent on patient or person needs.
  • The roles have a competence framework that ensures inclusion of the whole system and make best use of the appropriate resources giving accountability and staff confidence in the roles, supporting health and wellbeing of patients or expedite reablement through a more holistic and inclusive multi-professional model.
  • The action learning sets and listening events, have helped consolidate the roles and value within the health and social care system, busting myths around professional protectionism.
  • There is significant demand on these roles and workforce plans suggest implementation will help support current recruitment challenges.
  • The delay in recruiting the project manager has enabled an extension of the scope to help expedite embedding and recruitment to these roles with additional activities planned to ensure the roles are fully embedded,
  • Initial costs are in line with the project plan and enabled the framework / pathway and mapping to models of care to be established and built on existing partnerships. Further embedding and widening development to be inclusive of the community where health and social care is delivered.
  • A sustainable and scalable model, career pathway that meets system and patient needs has been delivered, and it is believed this can be transferred to other communities based upon the framework mapped to national occupational standards and competences.

Benefits identified:

  • The project goals were met in their entirety.
  • The project has delivered the new framework of roles that increase the efficiency of care at home and achieve our vision of no bed like your own bed when providing care whilst reducing vacancies and increasing system capacity and capability. The multi-professional approach will now start to eliminate uni-professional approaches, where a patient may see 15 health professionals within a week of complex care, these interventions have reduced in the pilot areas where these roles can perform 80 to 90% of all interventions.
  • Such a model will deliver significant economic benefits whilst providing the highest quality of care and support service users to get the right access to services at the right time in a venue as close as possible to their own home if it’s not their own home.
  • Streamlining patient flow will reduce reliance on hospital beds, through reduced length of stay and reductions in avoidable admissions, this is evident in flow over the winter period and reduction in beds.

Lessons learned:

  • Overall there is significant achievements from this project, engaging clinicians early and ensure they are part of the solution is the key learning. Making sure projects are not led by the academic institutions but by clinicians enabled by educationalist is key i.e. clinically led solutions.
  • Ensure the other sector skills councils beyond health such as Care are engaged from an early stage is key,

What went Well:

  • Project aims and academic outputs agreed with clinicians and FE colleges reaching a consensus,
  • Career Mapping to ensure credibility of roles,
  • Whole system engagement,
  • H&SC foundation degree further refined with service users and now through stage one approval with Plymouth University and plans agreed to link competencies ,
  • Pathways to be expanded to include greater mental health,
  • Vocational skills mapped to a non professional registration BSc,
  • Show cased of project at best practice event in November,

What Went not so well:

  • Recruitment process to project Manager post was more complex and difficult to find skills set within health community,
  • Multi-agency project review group embedded, dealing with conflicting priorities was a challenge,
  • Roles now included in workforce plans submitted to NHS improvement was a challenge to get teams to think differently.

Quality improvements noted:

The project delivered the new framework underpinned by quality indicators assessed through academic approval and sector skills council mapping of roles.  This also started to enhance quality indicators in reduction of harm events through greater knowledge and assessment and improved times scales through less vacancies.


For more information about this project, please contact Darryn Allcorn.


This Page was last updated on: 20 July 2017

If you found this content useful you can share it on your favourite social network:

Or just grab the url to share wherever you like:

Related Content

Innovation and development projects

In 2015/16, we allocated more than £1m to support innovation and development projects.


Read more