Health Education England launched the first national Population Health Fellowship for NHS clinical staff in England last year and the next cohort, starting this week, is already full. HEE is now looking to fill future cohorts and is seeking partnerships with organisations to host the fellows as well as the clinicians themselves. The Fellowship aims to develop and grow a workforce of professionals who will incorporate population health into their everyday jobs.
The pilot programme was created to distribute population health skills amongst the wider clinical workforce where population health competencies development is a recognised need. The programme supports clinical back fill whilst promoting local ownership of skills development that may not have otherwise happened and is aligned with the Long Term Plan.
For the first cohort 16 Fellows were selected from a wide range of backgrounds including nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, medicine, speech and language therapy, dietetics, orthotics and physiotherapy. They were seconded part-time (for two days per week) to the fellowship, alongside their permanent post, and experienced a mix of blended and on the job learning in population health. The second cohort will have 28 Fellows and HEE expects the interest and numbers to keep rising.
Carolyn Royse an orthotist joined the Population Health Fellowship in 2020. She said:
“My fellowship involved working with Wessex Activation, Self-Management and Personalisation (WASP) team on a self- assessment tool to review the delivery of personalised care to a population of adults with diabetes. It has opened doors for me to widen my influence and has made me consider my practice and how what I do relates within a much wider system. I will continue to work with WASP on a secondment after my fellowship has ended and hope to continue to impact the systems I work in and with.”
Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education and Quality and Medical Director HEE said:
“The pandemic has created so many challenges but also many opportunities and within population health this has never been more true. Healthcare is increasingly focused on optimising patient care and outcomes at the population level and therefore clinicians across all of healthcare require skills in population health to achieve this. We aim to recruit clinicians with outstanding potential for this Fellowship programme and develop them into a faculty capable of incorporating population health in their local work systems to improve patient outcomes. As the programme develops there will be an ever-growing group of population health practitioners from various professions and I look forward to seeing the leaders they will become in this important field of work.”
For more info on how to get involved https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/population-health/population-health-fellowship
Population Health is an approach aimed at improving the health of an entire population. It is about improving the physical and mental health outcomes and wellbeing of people, while reducing health inequalities within and across a defined population. It includes action to reduce the occurrence of ill-health, including addressing wider determinants of health, and requires working with communities and partner agencies.