November 2014 Stakeholder Briefing

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In this Issue…


This autumn has seen a very productive few months for HEKSS as we continue to work with colleagues across the region to shape the future workforce and there has been significant progress for many of our HEKSS skills development strategy work programmes (see below for details).

At the same time we have been learning more about the national changes to Health Education England and the LETBs and are beginning to work through what that means for our staff. They continue to demonstrate great professionalism and commitment through a time of some uncertainty.

I am very pleased to announce that, following the success of our inaugural ‘The Sound of the Student & Trainee Voice’ event in 2013, we are releasing details of our second conference to be held next year. The first event was a unique opportunity for learners and the professionals who support them to share ideas and experiences. Together we gained a deep understanding of the needs and perspectives of learners and explored how we can continue delivering the very best education and training.

We are still finalising the second event but it already promises to be just as inspirational. More details are below. Places are limited, so book early and please highlight it to any students and trainees with whom you work.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes
Philippa Spicer

HEKSS announces new student and trainee conference

Following the success of our first ‘The Sound of the Student & Trainee Voice’ conference, we are delighted to release details of our second conference taking place on 26 February 2015.

The event is for learners from the world of health and social care, allied professionals and support staff, their educators and teachers, and the organisations within which they train and work. The day will be made up of plenary sessions and practical workshops to explore a wide range of themes. It will be an unparalleled opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas to improve health and care education and training today and for the future.

For more information and to book your place, please visit

Introduction to practice nursing course launches at four universities

A unique, HEKSS commissioned ‘introduction to practice nursing’ training course has launched at four universities across the region. It aims to equip those new to practice nursing with the core knowledge and skills needed in today’s busy general practice environment. It is the first stage of a three-stage pathway that links entry level with CPD through to advanced practice.

Work-based learning is central, supported by nurse mentors and primary care workforce tutors. Theoretical learning includes core competencies, complimented by personalised study days to meet the specific requirements of the learner’s role within their practice.

HEKSS commissioned the course to ensure the development of a well-trained practice nurse workforce with the skills and knowledge to meet the changing needs in primary care. It was developed by the four participating universities – Brighton, Canterbury Christ Church, Greenwich and Surrey – in consultation with subject experts in general practice, education and clinical commissioning groups.

The course element is fully funded by HEKSS for practice nurses working in the region and includes a contribution towards the student’s travel expenses to university. The personalised element will be funded through CCGs’ CPD funding.

For more information, visit

New film highlights Community Education Providers Network

HEKSS has produced a film to demonstrate the potential of the Community Education Providers Network (CEPN). The initiative, which has been rolled out across all 20 CCGs in the region, facilitates educational networks between GP practices with GP and primary care workforce tutors offering support in education, training and workforce planning.

The film was first shown at a recent CEPN stakeholder event which brought together CCGs, local medical committees and higher education providers to review progress (including the launch of the introduction to the practice nursing course – see above) and look at next steps.

For more information and to view the film, visit

HEKSS promotes health and care careers to over 2,000 young people in Sussex

HEKSS organised an interactive health zone at the recent WorldSkills event for Sussex. The annual careers fair is organised by Sussex Education and Business Partnership and part of the national WorldSkills programme. It offers young people aged 14-19 from schools and colleges across the county an opportunity to explore employment and training options.

Working with Sussex Community NHS Trust, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, HEKSS career progression programme manager Mike Bailey co-ordinated an interactive health exhibition with simulation equipment on display and practice facilitators on hand to talk to attendees.

“We particularly wanted to promote the five simulation technician apprentice posts that we are piloting,” explained Mike. “The apprentices will be employed for 18 months and will be trained to use the simulation equipment to support training for others.”

Mike said: “The event was a great opportunity for local providers to engage young people in the range of employment options available in health and care and it was fantastic to see how enthusiastic so many of the attendees were about the possibilities of a career in healthcare.”

Ground-breaking community pharmacy workforce mapping pilot completed

HEKSS has completed an exercise to map the size and skills of the community pharmacy workforce. The work was carried out as a pilot to help Health Education England shape future data collection across all regions.

While data on the NHS employed pharmacy workforce have been collected annually, little has traditionally been known about the community pharmacy workforce – including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and medicines counter assistants. However, community pharmacy is well placed to do more to reduce the burden on A&E departments and to help GPs manage and support people with long term conditions in primary care.

Along with information on the NHS employed pharmacy workforce, the data will inform the planning of investment in local education commissioning and will support the ongoing development of the HEKSS skills development strategy (SDS). For example, the study found that community pharmacy staff wanted more training on supporting people with dementia and on providing healthy living advice.

The community pharmacy workforce report also makes a number of recommendations for Health Education England around how the data could be collected nationally in future.

For more information on the provider and community pharmacy workforce, visit the HEKSS website and download the community workforce report.

Dementia fellowship places still available

A few places are still available for acute hospital staff on the HEKSS dementia care fellowship. Following the success of the fellowship with GPs, nurses and therapists in primary and community care, Brighton and Sussex Medical School has secured funding to deliver the programme for doctors, nurses and other health professionals and clinical managers in hospital settings in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, including emergency care staff.

Dementia fellows develop the skills and knowledge to strive for best practice in dementia care and to support each other and colleagues to improve quality for people with dementia and their families over the coming years. For more information, please visit the website.

The fellowship is fully funded by HEKSS and is part of the skills development strategy dementia programme. As part of the programme, HEKSS recently supported an integrated health and social care leadership for dementia conference in partnership with the Sussex Dementia Workforce Development Group and Skills for Care. Visit the conference web page for more information and links to the presentations. In addition, HEKSS is on track to deliver the nationally mandated foundation level dementia awareness training across the region.

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