March 2015 Stakeholder Briefing

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In this Issue…


One of my highlights of the last month has been spending the day with learners at our ‘Sound of the Student and Trainee Voice’ event. It was inspiring to hear their energy and enthusiasm, and to look at the many ways they are working with their education providers across the region to shape a workforce with the right skills and values for the future.

We are also seeing strong progress with a variety of initiatives to deliver on our skills development strategy. This includes work on the innovative Time for Dementia programme, increasing the number of apprenticeships, supporting the implementation of care certificates and a ministerial launch for our older people’s oral health initiative. You can read more about all of these below.

Of course, the success of all these initiatives is founded on the shared commitment and strong collaborative working across Kent, Surrey and Sussex at all levels with health and care providers, education providers, commissioners and voluntary and independent partners.

Thank you for your support

Best wishes
Philippa Spicer

Unique event captures student and trainee insights to improve care and education

Over 160 students and trainees and those involved in their education and training attended the HEKSS The Sound of The Student & Trainee Voice conference in February. The event aimed to capture the unique insights of students and trainees into patient care and how it can be improved through training and education. It was organised following the positive response to the first HEKSS student and trainee conference in November 2013.

In addition to a wide range of workshops, plenary sessions included an overview of the innovative Time for Dementia programme, an exploration of the role of physician associates and how they can enhance a multidisciplinary team, the wide-ranging benefits of advanced clinical decision making training for 111 and 999 call handlers and an entertaining and thought-provoking look at what films can tell us about the student-teacher relationship.

There was a marked buzz at the well-attended event and a wealth of comments and questions on the fast-moving #StudentVoiceKSS dedicated Twitter hashtag. A key theme repeated in many of the presentations and workshops and echoed on Twitter was the power of ‘Ask, Listen, Act’; an approach that underlined many of the successful developments described on the day.

Dr Ben Mearns from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, who presented alongside his physician associate colleague Rachel Forbes-Pyman, summed up one of themes of the day in a Q&A session: “If we want a multi-professional NHS we don’t need to look elsewhere for the answer. We can all take the lead. If there is a need for change, make it happen.”

For more information on the event, presentations, photographs and a summary of the outcomes, please visit the event web pages.

Regional workforce plan for 2015/16 published

HEKSS has published the Kent, Surrey and Sussex workforce plan and proposed education and training commissions for 2015/16.

The plan covers medical and non-medical professions, providing a summary of numbers, profiles (such as age) where possible, and an overview of the supply and demand for the professions, highlighting and discussing any key issues. Alongside the improvement priorities identified through the HEKSS skills development strategy, the workforce plan sets out the rationale for the proposed education and training commissions for the coming year.

The plan describes a 9% increase in adult nursing commissions, including a 26% increase in learning disability nurses and a 13% increase in mental health nurses. There are also significant increases in radiography and sonography commissions.

Based on returns from provider trusts and electronic staff record data, the figures and detailed modelling have been triangulated with data from CCGs and education providers to ensure that they are as accurate as possible and reflect the true picture of supply and demand across the region.

Download the plan from the HEKSS website.

HEKSS is developing a refreshed five-year workforce strategy which builds upon these workforce plans, updates the regional skills development priorities and reflects the NHS England Five-Year Forward View.

Priorities from the forward view have been mapped against existing HEKSS work and while there is already good alignment, further work may be required to ensure progress against the NHS constitution standards of parity for mental health and transforming care for people with learning disabilities.

Earl Howe launches HEKSS oral health initiative for older people

Health minister Earl Howe launched the HEKSS Improving the Oral Health of Older People Initiative at an event in Parliament on 3 March.

The programme aims to deliver training, resources and online CPD for carers and care home staff to enable them to help residents and recipients of care to better manage their oral health. Poor oral health is a major problem for older people who need additional care. It is a key factor in quality of life and a contributing factor to many health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and pneumonia.

The initiative has been developed in partnership with training and education provider Healthcare Learning: Smile-on, the British Dental Health Foundation, local authorities and public health teams, local dental networks and committees and the University of Kent who are evaluating the programme.

Launching the initiative, Earl Howe congratulated HEKSS on an important and timely initiative that he believed could be rolled out more widely.

Professor Stephen Lambert-Humble MBE, Dean of Postgraduate Dentistry for Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex, said: “We believe this is the first time so many different health and social care organisations have come together to improve oral health processes for older people. It is a fantastic opportunity to enable those who care for older people to improve their quality of life by managing and improving oral health.”

For more information contact Lizzie Graddage in the HEKSS dental team at

HEKSS presents innovative dementia initiative at national stakeholder event

HEKSS presented its innovative Time for Dementia initiative at the national HEE Dementia Consensus event earlier this month in London.

Around 100 stakeholders including commissioners, providers, the voluntary sector, HEE and the Department of Health joined LETB dementia leads to explore the approaches to dementia education being taken across the country.

HEKSS, in partnership with Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the University of Surrey and the Alzheimer’s Society presented the Time for Dementia initiative. The programme will see medical, nursing and paramedic students visit a person with dementia and their family three or four times a year as part of their course to learn about what it is like to live with the condition.

HEKSS dementia programme lead Victoria Hare said: “One of the main themes emerging from the event was the need to better integrate dementia care across health and social care. One way we’re addressing this is through our project to develop leadership skills for healthcare professionals staff in nursing homes. But it is something we all need to work on across the system.”

Dementia is one of the priority programmes in the five-year HEKSS Skills Development Strategy. For more information visit the HEKSS dementia programme web page and download our dementia skills programme leaflet and Time for Dementia leaflet.

Joint health and social care approach to care certificates highlighted nationally

A joint health and social care approach to the introduction of care certificates that has been developed and piloted across the region was highlighted at a national learning event as the service prepares for the full implementation of the new standards.

Care certificates for healthcare assistants and other support staff will be a CQC requirement from April and all LETBs have been piloting their implementation. A national event in February brought together around 500 representatives from LETBs and pilot sites to share the learning from pilots.

HEKSS was joined at the event by healthcare assistants and managers from health and social care pilot sites at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Frimley Health NHSFT, Surrey County Council, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and Sussex Partnership NHSFT.

In total, 12 sites took part in the HEKSS pilot covering acute, community, mental health and social care providers. A key element of the work in the region has been a joint health and social care approach. Key care certificate standards have been included in the month-long health and social care pre-employment programme for young people and apprentices are gaining the certificate as part of the rotational apprenticeships scheme.

Resources to support the implementation of the certificates are available from Health Education England. For more information about the learning from the pilots and the help available in the region, please contact Mike Bailey, Career Progression Programme Manager,

Awards event celebrates apprenticeship achievements

Apprentices and the trusts developing apprenticeship schemes across the region came together to celebrate accomplishments and learn from each other at the Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex Apprenticeship Awards on 9 March 2015.

Apprenticeships are a vitally important way of ensuring a steady flow of high calibre new entrants to health and care roles with the right skills and values of compassion and care. The HEE target for apprenticeship starters in Kent, Surrey and Sussex in 2015/16 is 1373, up from 549 this year.

One of the aims of the awards and event was to bring to life the benefits of apprenticeships so these could be presented to organisations that have not yet developed their own schemes.

One apprentice said: “I’ve learned that an apprenticeship is another pathway into a possible life-long career and a viable alternative to university. The skills you learn not only serve you well in your professional life but also in your personal life.”

A healthcare trust manager commented: “We are able to have staff who are effective their first day on a permanent placement. Apprenticeships have enabled us to reduce our costs in terms of supporting new staff to reach competence and have had a positive impact on the service to our patients.”

For more information on the event and the apprenticeship programme visit the HEKSS website.

HEKSS embeds ‘human factors’ to enhance safety and quality

HEKSS is supporting national efforts to develop understanding and use of the ‘human factors’ approach to enhance the safety and quality of healthcare across the service.

Human factors in healthcare is about applying an understanding of the effects of teamwork, tasks, equipment and the working environment and culture on human behaviour to enhance clinical performance.

Already well established in many other industries, particularly where safety is paramount, human factors has come to the fore in the NHS since the signing of the human factors concordat in November 2013 by the members of the National Quality Board (NQB) including Health Education England, the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and NHS England.

HEKSS will be working with healthcare education providers across the region to ensure that human factors is embedded in the training and education programmes it commissions.

To find out more about human factors and the HEKSS work to embed them, visit our website.

Strategic framework for library and knowledge services published

Health Education England has published a new strategic development framework for NHS library and knowledge services in England.

“Knowledge for Healthcare” sets out HEE’s commitment to helping ensure that all staff and learners, patients and the public can access and use the best knowledge and evidence available for learning, research, innovation and clinical and organisational decision-making in healthcare, wherever and whenever they need it.

The framework explains the pivotal role of healthcare library and knowledge services (LKS) in delivering this ambitious vision, and highlights the high degree of collaborative working that already takes place between NHS-funded library services, within and across LETBs.

Links to the framework and a short briefing summary are available from the HEE website. For more information, to comment on the framework, make suggestions or discuss how you can contribute, please contact Louise Goswami, HEKSS’s Head of Library and Knowledge Services Development at

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