Can you explain what Training Hubs offer?
Basically, anything to do with education, training and development for multi-disciplinary teams working in primary care. This means supporting new and existing roles and those introduced through the PCN DES contract.
Broadly responsibilities include:
- Support for PCNs with the breadth of workforce planning and embedding new roles through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS)
- Advise on, develop, deliver or procure education and training for GPs and the primary care team
- Support educational placements in PCNs and practices and the training and development of clinical supervisors and educators, CPD, management and admin skills as well as clinical practice specialty or refresher training
- Offer career support to staff from new to practice, mid-career and retention
Where do Training Hubs get information and resources from?
They have access to and receive all kinds of intelligence, guidance and statistics, as well as stakeholder feedback from local or national sources - within and outside the NHS. Training and development needs are informed through more formal information gathering exercises and surveys, in discussion with ICSs and NHS England and NHS Improvement colleagues.
HEE receives notifications from other internal work programmes, AHSNs, voluntary organisations, third sector and education event management companies, which may be passed through to Training Hubs to support local programmes.
Courses and formal training are a bit different. There needs to be quality assurance and formal accreditation or award of CPD points. Contracts are in place through universities, GP Schools, ALBs, established companies, charities, and Royal Colleges to deliver formal programmes. Training Hubs can buy in events, courses and resources if they have appropriate funding and there’s a training need.
There are nationally developed resources that can be accessed through NHS networks such as New Roles in Primary Care Guide or The GP Career Support Hub. We know that some Training Hubs have uploaded content to the Learning Hub which is a part of e-lfh online courses including the Educator Hub.
You’ll be pleased to hear we still use local intelligence, social media and networking! All communication channels have their place and help to add value.
You say Training Hubs bring together community providers, local authorities and charities but what do you mean?
Training Hubs can place contracts with a variety of organisations to meet the education and development needs of primary care. Here are some examples
- GP practices (individually or through PCNs) and other primary care NHS providers
- External training companies
- Local Medical Committees (LMCs)
- Community NHS Trusts
- Education Providers
Primary Care Schools are accountable for making sure operational guidance and management is in place for Training Hubs through the Operating Model. Training Hubs provide regular activity and financial reports.
What about funding, governance and accountability?
Health Education England (HEE) has developed guidance outlining Training Hub core functions, what they deliver, governance and quality assurance.
- ICS level Training Hubs have accountability to HEE and responsibility to ICSs for the programmes they commission
- HEE provides the operational budget which enables them to employ the necessary staff to administer the work. Training Hubs are accountable through Primary Care Schools for the organisation, educational governance and quality management of clinical placements
- ICSs may provide funding* for the programmes that Training Hubs run. Each ICS will have a Workforce Implementation Group (or equivalent). This means that programmes are commissioned to support the workforce and educational priorities of PCNs, GPs and the multi-disciplinary team
- Training Hubs have developed organically, so in smaller ICSs there may be a single training hub supporting all the PCNs. In larger ICSs there may be a single strategic ICS hub with smaller hubs across the patch to support local delivery. As these hubs develop, it will be important for the ICS level hub to have oversight of all others to support PCNs, optimise the use of resources and make sure their work is driven by the Workforce Implementation Group (or equivalent)
- Governance arrangements** between the ICS and ICS level Training Hubs is being formalised. The primary care Workforce Implementation Group (or equivalent) will help to bring key stakeholders together across the system so that workforce planning activity is aligned with the wider system
How do we know if our Training Hub is meeting national standards?
All Training Hubs send their performance against the national key performance indicators (KPIs) to Health Education England (HEE) every 6 months. Broadly they cover areas around workforce planning, careers and retention strategies, educational design, and leadership and management support. These can change according to progress as they develop.
Data is collected by HEE for analysis and to check performance. It’s reported back to Training Hubs and primary care schools so they can compare, share initiatives and best practice.
Working at an integrated care system (ICS) and primary care network (PCN) level, Training Hubs provide support to expand educational capacity, ensure quality of learning environments and increase the number of educators for the range of professions by scaling up placements. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), General Medical Council (GMC), Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) and the Council of Deans of Health, have recognised and endorsed the process which is aligned to HEE’s quality framework and strategy.
I know they’re local networks but how many people run a Training Hub team and what do they do?
Teams will vary according to the geography the hub serves as staff funding is based on patient population. They are run by primary care clinical, AHP, workforce transformation and management leads, project managers and administrators.
Broadly they help to deliver the ambition to bring 26,000 additional staff and a further 6,000 GPs into general practice through:
- Conversations around workforce planning
- Embedding new roles into primary care teams
- New ways of working e.g. rotating posts across secondary and primary care
- Increasing the number of innovative and high-quality learning environments for multi-professional trainees/students
- Retention and coordination of staff through preceptorships/fellowships for GPs, nurses, allied health professionals. Mentoring, coaching and CPD support particularly in leadership and educator development programmes.
*Training Hubs may attract further funding from other sources such as Local Authorities, NHS England and Improvement (regions and national) and may be commissioned to work on projects as well.
- Training Hubs must be run on a not-for-profit basis
- Conflict of interest policies must be in place
- HEE and the ICS Training Hubs must maintain a contractual relationship
Consideration is given to making sure:
- Appropriate governance is in place
- The current maturity of the ICS and locality Training Hubs is understood
- That consideration is given to how Training Hubs can support the delivery of ICS workforce plans including education, training and retention
- Primary care workforce development plans meet with system need and how funding is best targeted to support current priorities
- Training Hubs are actively engaged in relevant primary care future workforce development discussions
- Training Hubs that are not able to meet all ICS delivery requirements, can work with HEE local office leads to make alternative interim arrangements. And where hubs are exceeding, consideration is given for resources to be shared, even beyond the area they cover.