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09.04.20

Skills for Health, NHS Professionals support urgent training needs

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has necessitated significant efforts from across our healthcare service, with an increasing demand on frontline staff as the escalation of Covid-19 continues. At present, it has been facilitated by a rapid response from NHS trusts and organisations to provide necessary support to deliver essential patient care.

Last month, NHS Professionals (NHSP) launched a national campaign to boost and support the wider NHS in attracting a greater number of healthcare professionals back into the service. Issuing a call across the country to registered and unregistered healthcare workers, as well as a range of key roles in non-clinical areas, both currently working or having recently retired or left the profession, to apply to support the NHS in the fight against Covid-19.

Across all corners of the UK, the call was met by a positively overwhelming and inspiring response, with thousands willing to pledge their services to support the NHS. As the campaign put it, they were indeed willing to stand up, step forward and save lives. Together we can beat this pandemic and continue to ensure patients across the healthcare service receive a world-class quality of care.

As such, Skills for Health have been working hand-in-glove alongside NHSP since, ensuring that thousands of returning staff, whether in clinical or support roles, receive the best possible and most up-to-date training possible, as they work to keep themselves and their patients safe.

The entire workforce is currently being equipped with immediate access to complete the appropriate statutory and mandatory Skills for Health Core Skills Training (CSTF) required, as quickly as possible, to enable them to start delivering the safe and effective patient care at a scale it is so desperately needed.

Despite the prospect of the upcoming four-day Easter holidays casting a shadow over the campaign’s productiveness, the team at NHSP and Skills for Health have committed to working all hours necessary to realise the project, just as their frontline colleagues have been doing for weeks.

Added pressure on the services and providers over the four-day break could represent an inability to cope with yet a further surge in demand, but the team are ready to continue onboarding and training staff so they can be well-prepared to join the fight at this critical time, with getting key workers safely back to the frontline as quickly as possible continuing to be the number one priority for all involved.

READ MORE: NHS Professionals launches rapid response staff bank protocol

Online training such as the CSTF, delivered by Skills for Health, is vital to ensure that the returning workforce do so highly-skilled and have the necessary support, knowledge and guidance to not just make up numbers, but provide patients with top quality care during their time of need.

Paul Walker, Chief Technical Officer at Skills for Health, said: “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we are seeing a genuinely moving, collaborative effort across our public services, to do whatever we all can to ensure our front-line staff are as well prepared as possible to guarantee both their own safety, as well as their patients, and in turn deliver the outstanding patient care we know our NHS is capable of.

“Skills for Health has been a longstanding supporter of the digitisation of our vital healthcare sector and when they need us most, we are truly honoured to be able to play our part. We’re in this together, and together we will beat this pandemic and help save lives.”

The CSTF is available to all healthcare employers across the UK including NHS, independent healthcare providers and educational organisations.

Developed, maintained and updated by Skills for Health, it provides a national ‘benchmark’ for the content of statutory/mandatory training and can be accessed here.

To further support existing healthcare professionals and those coming back to the front-line at this challenging time, Skills for Health delivered a dedicated Covid-19 online training resource on March 25, 2020, which has been made freely accessible to all here. This promotes additional advice and guidance, ensuring knowledge of coronavirus symptoms, infection prevention and control and investigation is consistent and up to date across the country.

Now, more than ever it is imperative that the entire workforce have the right information, the right skills, and most crucially, have it all at the right time.

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