Developing Your Workforce: Do You Have the Will to Upskill?

Providing staff with statutory and mandatory training is a vital investment for healthcare employers; it plays a key role in ensuring that your patients are receiving a high level of care. However, staff shortages across the healthcare sector have resulted in clinical and non-clinical employees who have very little time to prioritise upskilling and training.

Both nurses and doctors are required to carry out a minimum number of continued professional development (CPD) hours over a set number of years which enables them to provide the best care for patients. Meeting the CPD requirement and juggling a heavy workload due to staff shortages can become a stressful time for clinical employees. Further to this, practices have non-clinical employees who are also an important resource as they ease the pressure off clinical employees. Their training and development needs should also be recognised as a top priority, alongside clinical employees.

A Legal Duty to Provide Training and Support

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 places an onus on the employer to employ competent, experienced, and qualified staff to meet the needs of patients using their service. Employers therefore have a duty to provide staff with support, training, and professional development opportunities.

The CQC can take regulatory action if a provider does not meet this requirement and can refuse registration. Often the CQC is asked if there are mandatory training requirements that employers must deliver, but the CQC does not have a mandatory training list because each healthcare provider operates differently, and training depends on the responsibilities of the role. Usually, the practice manager has the responsibility to understand what training and development opportunities are required for their workforce.

Upskilling employees can relieve the pressures your practice may be facing. Having a skilled non-clinical administration team will free up more time for clinical employees to deal with patient appointments. When employers invest in employee training, this in return improves employee morale and they feel empowered to take on more high-level tasks as they become confident in their abilities. When employees feel confident, the atmosphere within the team and practice is improved, which has a positive impact on customer service. As they become more skilled this leads to progression within the role and various skill sets can help regain control of workloads which enables them to meet the necessary criteria and perform their duties effectively.

Managing Training Requirements for Employees

Statutory and mandatory training differ from one another. Statutory training is a legal requirement introduced by law to provide training based on legislation, such as fire safety training. Mandatory training is determined by the organisation, and supports the safe and efficient management of the organisation, such as GDPR training.

The healthcare sector is constantly changing with new legislation being introduced, changes to existing guidelines, and changing patients’ needs also on the rise. This, coupled with staff shortages, puts immense pressure on the workforce and to help ease pressure practice managers need to focus on training and development plans.

To understand what mandatory and statutory training practice managers require, you can view the Core Skills Training Framework – Statutory and Mandatory Subject Guide developed by Skills for Health which sets out a framework that all healthcare organisations can access.

Assess Your Training Needs

For practice managers to manage the training needs of their employees, a training needs assessment should be conducted. First Practice Management offers a training needs assessment form for members that can support practice managers in managing the training needs. A review of each employee's training needs should take place annually. When you have established the training needs of your employees, Thornfields Training Consultancywhich has delivered training to thousands of customers across the healthcare sector—can partner with you to deliver solutions to your training needs.

Increased workloads and budget constraints can result in training opportunities being missed or overlooked, yet this is an area that healthcare organisation cannot neglect. Practice managers need to allow staff to step away from their day-to-day responsibilities to attend training and many industry experts are pushing for training and development to become a top priority.

The healthcare sector in the UK at present is a competitive market; having a skilled and motivated workforce who are up to date with the latest techniques and technologies results in a huge competitive advantage. This enables you to have a positive workforce who can deliver an excellent service to your patients.


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