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Doing it

Over the last 12 months, Health Education England (HEE) has run a series of webinars and provided a vast amount of resources to support both education providers and provider organisations to think innovatively about how practice-based learning can be offered. 

Through the crowdsourcing work, there were six emerging themes identified with some clear areas for exploration that staff in their late careers could be involved in. 

Six themes taken from the crowd

1. Diversity of placement opportunities

  • location, supervision and timing
  • PIVOs/care homes/primary care etc
  • long arm supervision
  • academic, teaching, research
  • management / leadership
  • public health 
  • professional body

2. An improved process for placement capacity and co-ordination

  • post-placement facilitator roles
  • leadership across the systems
  • regional / national approaches to allocation
  • communication and coordination

3. A more joined-up system

  • national paperwork allocation models
  • more alignment and standardisation

4. Redesigning the approach of education and placement models

  • distill out what needs to be done where
  • what must be done with a patient/client 
  • what can be done elsewhere
  • place of simulation
  • developing reasoning / clinical decision-making skills

5. Educators capacity

  • placement is everybody's business - HCPC statement
  • a national statement similar to NES Team approach
  • learning rather than teaching focus - CliPP model
  • peer support
  • long arm supervision

6. Placement cultures and attitudes

  • language - the student
  • valuing students
  • inspire to hire view of the world
  • a part of the team 
  • creating pull in the system


Models of delivery

There is already excellent practice in provider organisations, who have been able to realise the potential of staff considering retirement (or have already retired) to support ongoing work in the NHS.  Methods of application for employers to consider could be:

  • Honorary contracts – some individuals may hold honorary contracts with their previous employer that will enable them to provide services and/or support.  This would work well for student supervision sessions, group teaching and other elements of pastoral support.  Contact can be facilitated either face-to-face or virtually so would be beneficial to students who may have to shield or self-isolate as well as those on site (see quick reference on shielding and self-isolating for students).
  • Reduced hours – taking into consideration the impact this may have on an individual’s pension (see NHS Pensions link in references), there may be an opportunity to reduce hours and have a change in focus.  Registrants could provide the same support as indicated above as well as clinical exposure with dedicated time for this as part of their new role.
  • Move into the education team – there may be the option for staff to move over into the education team within provider organisations.  These teams will support a variety of learners in practice and allow sharing of knowledge and skill across a multi-professional platform.
  • Bank contract – As HEIs administer practice-based learning in a variety of formats there are often times when there is higher demand for these placements.  By offering individuals a bank contract, there is flexibility for both employer and employee in terms of working pattern as outlined above.
  • Voluntary work – as part of their extra-curricular activities, individuals may be involved or work with charitable organisations.  The may be an opportunity for learners to access role emerging learning within these organisations with pastoral support provided by a registrant (or previous registrant).  In line with The Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Education and Training and HEI requirements, the students would also have a registered practice educator external to the environment.  This would allow those who have not retained HCPC registration to continue to support the development of the future workforce.