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Developing the NHS 111 workforce

Health Education England is working with NHS England to set out plans to develop the NHS 111 workforce.

NHS 111 workforce

As part of the Integrated Urgent & Emergency Care Review, the NHS 111 Integrated Urgent Care Workforce Development Programme aims to ensure better outcomes for patients accessing NHS 111 services by delivering a workforce with the right skills, behaviours and career and development opportunities needed to achieve this.

As recognised by the Urgent & Emergency Care Review, healthcare is expected to be increasingly provided closer to home, for example, through self-care, primary care, and NHS 111 telephone based clinical contact. The NHS 111 workforce gives the public easier access to urgent healthcare, and has had a significant effect on the way the NHS delivers that care.

    The programme looked at bringing about a consistent approach to triage and/or onward referral.  Focusing on registered and non-registered staff within the integrated urgent care services workforce, the project sought to:

    • define core competencies, the scope of practice of registered and non-registered staff and how their on-going development will be supported
    • identify a ‘core skill set’ common to registered and non-registered staff and opportunities for skill sharing
    • define roles and associated competencies and identify the ideal composition and design of the workforce that will lead to the provision of high quality services and a 'learning organisation' in which staff can have a clear and structured career pathway appropriate to the needs of both the workforce and the patients that it serves.

    The outputs will help teams to transform their workforce and enable a high quality, pro-learning culture within integrated urgent care services, and improve quality and effectiveness, increase staff retention and satisfaction, and drive innovation and development.  

    Read about the programme's work below:

    To identify and evidence new ways of working and best practice within this work, 19 pilots were funded through the programme’s Workforce Investment Fund. Swansea University worked with the project sites and produced a report evaluating the outcomes.

    We supported 14 NHS 111 providers to recruit a dedicated apprenticeship lead and to develop and launch their own ‘Grow Your Own’ apprenticeship scheme as a long-term learning and development opportunity open to all staff using the new career framework as a workforce tool.  The local schemes established Health Ambassadors, whose role include making contact with schools, colleges and careers fairs to promote NHS 111 as a Career of Choice. The schemes will also research wider participation strategies to give young and/or unemployed people, and diverse groups, an equal chance to see what working in NHS 111 is like.

    We have developed a range of guidance and signposting documents. These are the result of extensive research, engagement, piloting and testing activities with key stakeholders. Together they constitute the Integrated Urgent Care/NHS 111 Workforce Blueprint, which is referenced in the National Service Specification for Integrated Urgent Care Services.  Career of Choice case studies and other materials are available on the Health Careers website.