Tag: additional roles

Health & Wellbeing Coach

Questions?

If you have any questions relating to health and wellbeing coaches, please send your queries to [email protected]

Health and Wellbeing Coaches

"HWBCs work alongside people to coach and motivate them through multiple sessions, supporting them to self-identify their needs, set goals, and help them to implement their personalised health and care plan."

Source: HEE's Health and Wellbeing Coach Role Overview

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What are they?

What benefits can they bring?

What is the scope of their practice?

Is funding available for them?

Any case studies?

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

Any example job descriptions?

Any sample interview questions?

What clinical supervision do they need?

What should practice induction include?

What ongoing support is available for HWBCs?

What is a Health & Wellbeing Coach (HWBC)?

As part of the PCN multidisciplinary team (MDT), health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) use their coaching skills to support patients and service users with lower levels of patient activation in becoming active in reaching their self-identified health and wellbeing goals.

As part of their work, HWBCs will:

  • Work alongside health, social care, community, and voluntary sector providers and MDTs
  • Provide education and specialist expertise to health staff, thereby improving their skills and understanding of personalised care and behavioural approaches
  • Raise awareness within a primary care network (PCN) of tools that enable shared decision making (SDM)

HWBCs carry out their role using a non-judgemental approach, supporting patients to self-identify existing issues and encouraging proactive prevention of new illnesses. This approach requires strong communication and negotiation skills, in order to promote personal choice and positive risk-taking, while addressing potential consequences and ensuring patients take accountability for their decisions, chosen based on what matters to them.

For more information:

NHSE / I's Page on HWBCs

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this short page serves as an introduction to the role of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

What benefits can they bring?

Health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) can bring the following benefits to patients and PCNs.

For patients:

  • Increased levels of patient activation and of preventative behaviours / self-management
  • Overall improvement in health outcomes
  • Additional time to address patient goals on an individual level, providing more support for them to pursue their own health goals
  • Shown to improve two-way communication and partnership working

For PCNs:

  • Increased patient activation can enable fewer visits to general practice, reducing demand for practice services
  • Reported increase in job satisfaction amongst healthcare staff
  • Less waste on account of unnecessary tests and medication
  • Long-term, sustained benefits relating to cost reduction and service development

For more information:

NHSE / I HWBCs in Yeovil Case Study

Provided by Health Education England (HEE), this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

What clinical supervision do they need?

According to NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE /I), primary care networks (PCNs) should ensure that health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) have regular access to clinical / non-managerial supervision with both a GP and other relevant health professionals. This is to assist with the emotional impact of their work and guide them on how to effectively deal with patient risk factors.

NHSE / I have also stated that all primary care networks (PCNs) should ensure their HWBCs have access to four-day health coaching training, including access to a health coaching supervisor who can directly supervise the HWBCs.

It should be noted that health coaching supervision is different from clinical and caseload supervision and one-to-one line management.

For more information:

NHSE / I Welcome Pack for HWBCs

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document serves as a welcome pack for health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) starting employment in a primary care network.

To read it, please click here.

What should practice induction include?

NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I) have compiled an induction guide for health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) joining a primary care network. This twenty one-page document includes links to an assortment of resources and covers the following topics:

  • What is personalised care?
  • What can HWBCs do?
  • What support should be available for HWBCs?
  • And more…

For more information:

NHSE / I Welcome Pack for HWBCs

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document serves as a welcome pack for health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) starting employment in a primary care network.

To read it, please click here.

What ongoing support is available for HWBCs?

NHS England & Improvement (NHSE / I) have, in their health and wellbeing coach (HWBC) welcome pack, compiled a list of available support structures and mechanisms — including an online learning community, accessible by contacting:

england.supp[email protected]

NHSE / I Services

Included in their induction guide for social prescribing link workers (SPLWs)NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I) have compiled a list of ongoing support and resources, including:

  • Online health and wellbeing coach learning
  • National ‘share and learn’ lessons
  • Learning, developmental, and peer support
  • Online collaboration

To read it, please click here.

Personalised Care Institute

The Personalised Care Institute has a range of FREE training, resources, and podcasts available for health and wellbeing coaches (HWBC).

To find out more, please click here.

What is the scope of their practice?

According to Health Education England (HEE), a health and wellbeing coach (HWBC) is required to provide one-to-one coaching support for people with one or more long-term conditions, adhering to what is important to them, with the aim of:

  • Improving people’s knowledge, confidence and skills-levels of ‘patient activation’
  • Empowering people to improve their health outcomes and sense of wellbeing
  • Preventing unnecessary reliance on clinical service
  • Providing interventions such as self-management education and peer support
  • Supporting people to establish and attain self-identified goals
  • Working with the social prescribing service to support the triaging of referrals that connect people to the right intervention / community-based activities which support their health and wellbeing
  • To work as part of a multidisciplinary, multi-agency team to promote health coaching, and to be ambassadors for personalised care and supported self management, modelling the coaching approach in their work

This is not an exhaustive list, however.

For more information, please read:

HEE's Health and Wellbeing Coach Role Overview

Provided by Health Education England (HEE), this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

Is funding available for them?

As health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) are included on the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS), funding is available for them; from April 2020, this role can be reimbursed at 100% of actual salary plus defined on-costs, up to the maximum reimbursable amount of £35,389 over 12 months.

For more information:

HEE's Health and Wellbeing Coach Role Overview

Provided by Health Education England (HEE), this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Health Education England (HEE) advocates that health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) should have the following skills and competencies:

  • Able to work within a biopsychosocial model, using a range of tools and techniques to enable and support people, such as agenda setting, goal setting, problem solving
  • Active and empathic listening
  • Appropriate use of problem-solving and goal follow-up across sessions to maintain and increase activation
  • Being responsive and sensitive to the needs and beliefs of the client
  • Building trust and rapport
  • Collaborative goal setting
  • Creating and maintaining a safe and positive relationship
  • Developed skills to further develop their health coaching through ongoing practice, reflection, and planning as reflective practitioners
  • Effective questioning
  • Knowledge and recognition of the core concepts and principles of personalised care, shared decision making, patient activation, health behaviour change, self-efficacy, motivation, and assets-based approaches
  • Managing and making effective use of time
  • Managing resistance to change and ambivalence
  • Providing supportive challenge
  • Setting and maintaining appropriate boundaries
  • Shared agenda setting
  • Shared follow-up planning
  • Structuring conversations using a coaching approach
  • Structuring programme and sessional goals
  • Understanding and applying the health coaching approach and mindset
  • Using simple health literate communication techniques

For more information:

HEE's Health and Wellbeing Coach Role Overview

Provided by Health Education England (HEE), this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

As noted under ‘Is funding available for them?‘, health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) can be reimbursed via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). However, to be eligible for this funding, there are requirements that must be adhered to.

For instance, as stated in Annex B of the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service contract specification 2021 / 22:

  • B4.1. Where a PCN employs or engages a Health and Wellbeing Coach under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, the PCN must ensure that the Health and Wellbeing Coach:
    • is enrolled in, undertaking or qualified from appropriate health coaching training covering topics outlined in the NHS England and NHS Improvement Implementation and Quality Summary Guide, with the training delivered by a training organisation listed by the Personalised Care Institute;
    • adheres to a code of ethics and conduct in line with the NHS England and NHS Improvement Health coaching Implementation and Quality Summary Guide;
    • has formal individual and group coaching supervision which must come from a suitably qualified or experienced individual; and
    • working closely in partnership with the Social Prescribing Link Worker(s) or social prescribing service provider to identify and work alongside people who may need additional support, but are not yet ready to benefit fully from social prescribing

For more information:

Network Contract DES contract specification 2021 / 22

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2021 / 22.

To read it, please click here.

Any example job descriptions?

According to Health Education England (HEE), sample job descriptions and recruitment packs have been developed by NHS England & Improvement (NHSE / I).

An example job description from NHSE / I is linked below.

For more information:

NHSE / I's Sample JD and Interview Questions

Provided by NHS England & Improvement (NHSE / I), this document offers a sample job description and interview questions.

To read it, please click here.

Any example sample interview questions?

NHS England & Improvement (NHSE / I) have produced a recruitment pack featuring sample interview questions.

For more information:

NHSE / I's Sample JD and Interview Questions

Provided by NHS England & Improvement (NHSE / I), this document offers a sample job description and interview questions.

To read it, please click here.

What are the benefits of employing a Health & Wellbeing Coach?

Health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) can support patients in making positive choices for their health and wellbeing; consequently, they can lead healthier lives and will be less likely to require the services of health and care centres, reducing the burden of ill-health in the patient population.

Any sample case studies?

NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I) have provided the following case study on the effects of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs) on patients with long-term conditions in Yeovil.

A South Somerset GP interviewed as part of the case study had the following to say:

“What’s different is probably the perception of what is possible and permissible. We feel in control rather than being an island under attack retreating from the relentless onslaught of demand on one side and reduction in provision on the other.”

For more information:

NHSE / I HWBCs in Yeovil Case Study

Provided by Health Education England (HEE), this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

Literature
HEE's Health and Wellbeing Coach Role Overview

Provided by Health Education England (HEE), this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

Network Contract DES contract specification 2021 / 22

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2021 / 22.

To read it, please click here.

NHSE / I HWBCs in Yeovil Case Study

Provided by Health Education England (HEE), this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

NHSE / I's Page on HWBCs

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this short page serves as an introduction to the role of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To read it, please click here.

NHSE / I's Sample JD and Interview Questions

Provided by NHS England & Improvement (NHSE / I), this document offers a sample job description and interview questions.

To read it, please click here.

A / V resources
Health and Wellbeing Coaches - A Typical Day

A short video provided by Cumbria City Council, which offers an insight into the day-to-day work of health and wellbeing coaches (HWBCs).

To watch it, please click here.

[This video was uploaded on 11.07.18.]

Social Prescribing Link Worker

Questions?

If you have any questions relating to mental health support workers, please send your queries to [email protected]

Social Prescribing Link Workers

"Link workers give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support. ."

Source: NHS England's Social Prescribing Summary Guide

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Slider

What are they?

What benefits can they bring?

What is their scope of practice?

Is funding available for them?

Are there any case studies?

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

What employment routes are there?

Any example job descriptions?

What clinical supervision do they need?

What should practice induction include?

What ongoing support is available for SPLWs?

What are social prescribing link workers (SPLWs)?

Social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) serve in a non-clinical capacity to help patients and service users take control of their health and wellbeing; they support individuals in creating a shared plan based on ‘what matters’ to them, and to help them connect with local community and voluntary groups and build up their confidence.

Additionally, SPLWs assist local community groups and services in becoming more accessible and sustainable, and support the formation of new ones. They are employed for their listening skills, empathy, and ability to support others.

SPLWs work with a wide range of people, including:

  • Those who are lonely or isolated
  • Those who need support with their mental health
  • Those with complex social needs
  • Those with one or more long-term conditions

For more information:

Induction Guide for Social Prescribing Link Workers

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document serves an induction guide for social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) starting employment in a primary care network.

To read it, please click here.

Diagram sourced from NHSE / I’s Induction Guide for Social Prescribing Link Workers

Why a Social Prescribing Link Worker?

One in five GP appointments focus on wider social needs[1], rather than acute medical issues. In areas of high deprivation, many GPs report that they spend significant amounts of time dealing with the consequences of poor housing, debt, stress and loneliness. Social prescribing and community-based support is part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to make personalised care business as usual across the health and care system and to bring additional capacity into the multi-disciplinary team. This approach aims to reduce pressure on clinicians, improve people’s lives through improved and timely access to health services and strengthen community resilience, meeting the needs of our diverse and multi-cultural communities.

 

Social prescribing enables all primary care staff and local agencies to refer people to a link worker and supports self-referral. Working under supervision of a GP, link workers give people time and focus on what matters to the person, as identified through shared decision making or personalised care and support planning. They will manage and prioritise their own caseload in accordance with the health and wellbeing needs of their local population, and where required discuss and/or refer people back to other health professionals and GPs in the PCN. They also connect people to local community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support. Link workers work within multi-disciplinary teams and collaborate with local partners to support community groups to be accessible and sustainable and help people to start new groups and activities.

 

Social prescribing can support a wide range of people, including (but not exclusively) people:

  • with one or more long term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

 

There is emerging evidence that social prescribing can lead to a range of positive health and wellbeing outcomes for people, such as improved quality of life and emotional wellbeing.[2] Whilst there is a need for more robust and systematic evidence on the effectiveness of social prescribing,[3] social prescribing schemes may lead to a reduction in the use of NHS services,[4] including GP attendance. 59% of GPs think social prescribing can help reduce their workload.[5]

 

[1] Citizens Advice policy briefing (2015), A very general practice: How much time do GPs spend on issues other than health?

[2] Dayson, C. and Bashir, N. (2014), The social and economic impact of the Rotherham Social Prescribing Pilot. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University: https://www4.shu.ac.uk/research/cresr/sites/shu.ac.uk/files/socialeconomicimpactrotherham.pdf

[3] Bickerdike, L., Booth, A., Wilson, P.M., et. Al. (2017), Social prescribing: less rhetoric and more reality. A systematic review of the evidence, BMJ Open 2017;7: e013384. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013384

[4] Polley, M. et al. (2017), A review of the evidence assessing impact of social prescribing on healthcare demand and cost implications. London: University of Westminster

[5] RCGP (2018), Spotlight on the 10 High Impact Actions: http://www.rcgp.org.uk/aboutus/news/2018/may/rcgpcallsongovernmenttofacilitatesocialprescribingforallpractices.aspx (accessed 2 June 2018)

What benefits can SPLWs bring?

Principally, social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) can help to ease the workload and release time for GPs and general practice nurses (GPNs), by consulting with patients that do not have an immediate need for medical or nursing attention. In fact, 1-in-5 patients come to practice appointments with a non-clinical issue, which SPLWs can also be better-equipped to deal with.

There is evidence that social prescribing can lead to a number of positive health and wellbeing outcomes, including a better quality of life and emotional wellbeing. When implemented properly, SPLWs can support patients and service users in easily connecting with an assortment of local groups and services, including (but not limited to):

  • Hospital discharge teams
  • Fire services
  • Police services
  • Job centres
  • Social care services
  • Housing associations
  • Voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations
What is their scope of practice?

Below is a list of but some of a social prescribing link worker’s (SPLW) key tasks, quoted from NHSE / I’s Social Prescribing Summary Guide.

For a fuller account of their scope of practice, please be sure to consult the guide itself, linked below.

  • Promoting social prescribing, its role in self-management, and the wider
    determinants of health
  • Build relationships with key staff in GP practices within the local Primary Care Network (PCN), attending relevant meetings, becoming part of the wider network team, giving information and feedback on social prescribing
  • Be proactive in developing strong links with all local agencies to encourage referrals, recognising what they need to be confident in the service to make appropriate referrals
  • Work in partnership with all local agencies to raise awareness of social
    prescribing and how partnership working can reduce pressure on statutory
    services, improve health outcomes and enable a holistic approach to care
  • Provide referral agencies with regular updates about social prescribing, including training for their staff and how to access information to encourage appropriate referrals
  • Seek regular feedback about the quality of service and impact of social
    prescribing on referral agencies
  • Be proactive in encouraging self-referrals and connecting with all local
    communities, particularly those communities that statutory agencies may find hard to reach
  • Meet people on a one-to-one basis, making home visits where appropriate within organisations’ policies and procedures. Give people time to tell their stories and focus on ‘what matters to me’. Build trust with the person, providing non-judgemental support, respecting diversity and lifestyle choices. Work from a strength-based approach focusing on a person’s assets
  • Be a friendly source of information about wellbeing and prevention approaches
  • Help people identify the wider issues that impact on their health and wellbeing, such as debt, poor housing, being unemployed, loneliness and caring responsibilities
NHSE / I Social Prescribing and Community-Based Support Summary Guide

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document is intended to outline what good social prescribing looks like and assist in implementing it.

To read it, please click here.

Is funding available for them?

Social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) are one of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) roles, and therefore PCNs can receive funding for employing them.

According to NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), PCNs will be able to receive reimbursement for 100% of the role’s actual full-time equivalent salary, plus employer on-costs (NI and pension) and a contribution.

For more information:

Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service: Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme Guidance

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this guidance document provides information on the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS).

To read it, please click here.

This is custom heading element

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document is intended to outline what good social prescribing looks like and assist in implementing it.

To read it, please click here.

Are there any case studies?

As it turns out, NHSE / I have helpfully put together a page full of case studies for the social prescribing link worker (SPLW) role.

To access it, please use the button below.

What employment routes are there?

As it turns out, NHSE / I have helpfully put together a page full of case studies for the social prescribing link worker (SPLW) role.

To access it, please use the button below.

What can a Social Prescribing Link Worker do?

Social Prescribing Link Workers give people time and focus on what matters to the person as identified in their care and support plan. They connect people to community groups and agencies for practical and emotional support and offer a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, hence the name ‘social prescribing’.

Social prescribing enables patients referred by general practice, pharmacies, multi-disciplinary teams, hospital discharge teams, allied health professionals, fire service, police, job centres, social care services, housing associations and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations get the right care for them.

Link workers typically work with people over 6-12 contacts (including phone calls and face to face meetings) over a three-month period with a typical caseload of up to 250 people, depending on the complexity of people’s needs.

NHS England Link

The above information can be found at NHS England » Expanding our workforce

Previous relevant experience

Although these are not strict as a guide, relevant experience might include the following:

  • Worked with people with support needs previously in a key worker/ case manager type role and those who have a broad understanding of the wider determinants of health
  • Supported and motivated people to make changes in their lives, helping the person to make plans based on what matters to them
What patients would be suitable to be referred to a SPLW?

Social prescribing works for a wide range of people, including people:

  • with one or more long-term conditions
  • who need support with their mental health
  • who are lonely or isolated
  • who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

From a GP perspective practice teams should consider those patients that are frequent attenders with often unexplained physical symptoms, social isolation, mental health difficulties, and poorly controlled long-term conditions.

What’s the difference between social prescribing and active signposting?

“Active signposting” schemes generally involve existing staff in general practices, libraries and other agencies providing information to signpost people to community groups and services, using directories and local knowledge. They offer a light touch approach which works best for people who are confident and skilled enough to find their own way to community groups.

Social prescribing is different in that it focuses its support on people who lack the confidence or knowledge to approach other agencies or to get involved in community groups on their own. The personalised support of social prescribing link workers gives people time and confidence to work on the underlying issues which affect their health and wellbeing.

Any Sample Case Studies?

 A primary care navigator helped John to get his life back and address his ongoing health and social needs

Case study summary

John’s Primary Care Navigator talks about how he accessed a social prescribing primary care navigator via his GP after the death of his mum and losing his job. After working out what matters to John she was able to help him address his critical health, mental and financial issues, including now  accessing benefits and services he was entitled to and other medical support.

 

John is in his mid 60’s. He lives alone in a two bedroom flat situated in a tower block, which was left to him by his mother who sadly died in 2013. Since then, John’s health had deteriorated.  As well as poor control of his chronic diseases he then began to suffer from depression after the loss of his mother and being made redundant.

John was referred to the primary care navigator via his GP to see if we could help him in anyway. At first John was reluctant to engage with the primary care navigator as he felt embarrassed and lost and at an all-time low.  We asked John if he would like to pop in for an informal chat, we made this on a regular basis. We began to build a relationship of trust and John began to communicate to us with ease.

He had cared for this mother and his benefits were all stopped when she died, to the point that he could not buy food. John suffered mentally and financially.

Over a period of eight months, we worked alongside foodbanks, The Salvation Army, The Green Doctor, Age UK and Citizens Advice Bureau and worked hard to make sure he could access the benefits and services he was entitled to. This enabled us to support John with food, clothes, paying off debts and energy efficient items for the home.

We also supported John in benefit advice and eventually won his appeal to unblock his benefit of £50 so he could feed himself. We then provided providing crucial medical information which helped to unlock another benefit and the funding was then backdated. It also now entitled him to other benefits too.

All this meant that he could now continue to live in his own house and look after himself. His health has improved and is now in control. John now looks forward to his weekly meet at the local Luncheon Club.

John keeps thanking us for all we did for him but if we did not have access to social prescribing then it would not have been possible to achieve what has been done. John knows that we will always be available if he needs us.

 

A day in the life of a SPLW?

The following ‘day in the life’ was sourced from a case study from another social prescribing organisation (see web link below):

AS PART OF ELEMENTAL’S MISSION TO SHINE A LIGHT ON SOCIAL PRESCRIBING AND HIGHLIGHT ALL THE GREAT WORK TO THAT TAKES PLACE ACROSS THE FORWARD THINKING AND INSPIRING ORGANISATIONS THAT WE WORK WITH, OUR NEW ‘DAY IN THE LIFE OF’ FEATURE AIMS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND THAT ARE EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES AND CHANGING LIVES THROUGH SOCIAL PRESCRIBING.

In our first feature, Rachel Studzinski, SPRING Social Prescribing Development worker for Health in Mind, a mental health and wellbeing charity in Scotland, explains more about her role as a link worker

ABOUT SPRING

The SPRING social prescribing programme is a community led and holistic approach to wellbeing in the Scottish Borders. My role is to support people to identify what is important to them and how they can make positive changes in their lives to achieve their goals through accessing local services, groups and activities.

No two days are ever the same, and I split my time between working from the different Health in Mind offices in our communities and getting out and about to talk to as many people as possible about social prescribing and how our programme can support a wide range of people working in health and wellbeing.

For example, I have been working with midwives in the area to raise awareness of our programme and its potential to support new mums with some of the challenges they face.

CREATING A SOCIAL PRESCRIBING CULTURE

This awareness raising work is really important because I spend a lot of my time trying to track down the right people in the NHS. There is a real communication job to do with social prescribing for anyone trying to reach in and we know that to tackle this need to go out into the community and not wait for people to come to us.

It’s so vital that we have NHS professionals on board to deliver social prescribing to its full potential, and to do that we need to create a new mindset that really understands how the social model can complement and enhance medical models.

The NHS might be the gateway, but it’s all about bridging the gap between statutory and non-statutory services, this is where the success to social prescribing lies and we need to work hard to create this culture.

We are lucky in the Borders that there’s a lot of support for social prescribing in the NHS, but we know that this is not a nationwide experience and I think the sector needs to work to avoid the ‘postcode lottery’ effect where it’s an option available to some but not others.

WORKING WITH GP PRACTICES

A large part of my work involves working with GP practices as this is the primary route of our referrals to the programme.

We have 13 GP practices signed up at the moment, with two more coming on board in the next few months. Some practices refer more than others, but all referrals come to us through Elemental’s social prescribing platform, which makes it so quick and easy for us.

We receive referrals through the Elemental system directly from the GP in real time, enabling me to respond quickly and set up appointments within a week.

TAKING TIME TO ASSESS PEOPLE’S NEEDS

The first step in any social prescribing referral is to go and meet the patient and have an hour to an hour and a half assessment where we look at each area of their life to identify where they want support and what they want to change in their lives. While this part of the assessment is fairly clinical at this stage, it’s important because this is what translates back for statutory services.

Once that is completed, I always add a personal goal in, which can be anything from ‘I would like to feel less isolated’, to ‘I would like to feel more confident’. Then we work together to do a smart goal around that which enables us to find the right social prescribing activity for them.

Once we have an idea of what they are looking for we can start to suggest things that are happening in their areas for them to try. As a link worker I see my role as facilitating what the social prescription might be, but really empowering the individual to choose the activities that work for them, whether that’s learning something new, ice skating, swimming or even sky diving!

SEEING THE DIFFERENCE

The most rewarding part of my role is seeing people thrive as they go through the programme.

For example, a lady I have been working with was referred to the programme for weight management after she’d been to different wellbeing teams who thought that they’d done all they could and after assessing her diet, felt that she needed to be referred into exercise classes.

However, through our referral we realised her needs were completely different. Through my initial assessment we identified that she had been diagnosed with arthritis and had a history of depression. She had been prescribed steroids which were causing her to gain weight, which was impacting on her confidence and triggering her depression. This in turn was affecting her relationship with her husband and her son. It was a real cyclical effect that was causing her to feel isolated.

She realised that she needed to change this cycle so together we developed her plan and I was able to look at activities to support her. She felt that she couldn’t go to the gym because of the pain it caused her knees, so I suggested swimming.

Getting a swimming costume was a big deal for her because of her body image challenges and it took us two or three weeks to overcome that, through lots of reassurance and text message conversations, and I was delighted when she text me one day to say she’d got a costume in the brightest colour she could find!

From there, we went swimming together. By the end of the 12 interventions that SPRING offered, she’d reached 76 lengths and was reporting that she’d lost five pounds, had started gardening at home again which she’d previously had to stop because of the pain caused by her arthritis, and found that her relationships were improving.

She was also able to walk longer distances before experiencing pain, particularly when shopping.

For me, this is a shining example of social prescribing in action.

THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL PRESCRIBING

The future is bright for social prescribing and link workers have a pivotal role to play in enabling it to fulfil its potential.

Developing partnerships will continue to be crucial, particularly in the voluntary sector where resources are tight. This is something that we need to continue to focus on, as well as developing that culture change within the NHS, whilst not losing sight of the fact that social prescribing must always be community led to be successful, whatever the pathway.

Volunteering is also an area at SPRING that I am working to develop. I’ve realised that I can’t fit every personality type of people that might be referred to us, and we need to continue to offer people diversity, and so I am currently recruiting volunteers to support this, which is proving a big success.

The more we can raise awareness of the real difference that community led social prescribing initiatives can make, the more lives we’ll be able to change and I’m really excited for what lies ahead for our work.

rachel studinksi

Rachel Studzinski, Health in Mind, SPRING Social Prescribing Development Worker

Rachel is passionate about equality and supporting social change that drives equality. She is the Health in Mind, Spring Social Prescribing Development Worker in the Scottish Borders. Heer role involves working collaboratively with primary care to offer non-medical interventions to patients.

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

There are no formal qualifications or competencies required to become a social prescribing link worker (SPLW). However, it is recommended that one has the following:

  • An understanding of the wider determinants of health, including social, economic, and environmental factors, and their effect on individuals, communities, and families
  • Demonstrable commitment to professional and personal development
  • Experience of partnership / collaborative working, and of building relationships across a variety of organisations
  • Experience of working directly in a community development context, adult health and social care, learning support or public health / health improvement (including unpaid work)
  • Knowledge of the personalised care approach
  • NVQ Level 3, Advanced level or equivalent qualifications or working towards (recommended by NHS, but entirely up to local partners whether or not this is included, so you may want to check)
  • Training in motivational coaching and interviewing, or equivalent experience

Additionally, NHS Careers recommend that SPLWs possess the following characteristics:

  • Excellent listening and communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Emotional resilience
  • Open-mindedness
  • A willingness to work as part of team
  • Good IT and record keeping skills
  • A willingness to undertake training and develop skills

For more information:

NHS Health Careers: Social Prescribing Link Worker

The NHS Health Careers page on social prescribing link workers (SPLWs).

To read it, please click here.

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

As noted under ‘Is funding available for them?‘, social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) can be reimbursed via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). However, to be eligible for this funding, there are requirements that SPLWs must adhere to.

For instance, as stated in Annex B of the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service contract specification 2021 / 22:

  • B3.3. Where a PCN employs or engages one or more Social Prescribing Link Workers under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme or sub-contracts provision of the social prescribing service to another provider, the PCN must ensure that each Social Prescribing Link Worker providing the service has the following key responsibilities in delivering the service to patients:
    • as members of the PCN’s team of health professionals, take referrals from
      the PCN’s Core Network Practices and from a wide range of agencies to
      support the health and wellbeing of patients;
    • assess how far a patient’s health and wellbeing needs can be met by
      services and other opportunities available in the community;
    • co-produce a simple personalised care and support plan to address the
      patient’s health and wellbeing needs by introducing or reconnecting
      people to community groups and statutory services, including weight
      management support and signposting where appropriate and it matters to the person;
    • evaluate how far the actions in the care and support plan are meeting the
      patient’s health and wellbeing needs;
    • provide personalised support to patients, their families and carers to take
      control of their health and wellbeing, live independently, improve their
      health outcomes and maintain a healthy lifestyle;
    • develop trusting relationships by giving people time and focus on ‘what
      matters to them’;
    • take a holistic approach, based on the patient’s priorities and the wider
      determinants of health;
    • explore and support access to a personal health budget where
      appropriate;
    • manage and prioritise their own caseload, in accordance with the health
      and wellbeing needs of their population; and
    • where required and as appropriate, refer patients back to other health
      professionals within the PCN.”

For more information:

Network Contract DES contract specification 2021 / 22

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2021 / 22.

To read it, please click here.

What clinical supervision do they need?

As noted in the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service contract specification 2021 / 22, a primary care network (PCN) should provide a GP supervisor for the social prescribing link worker(s) (SPLWs).

NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I) elaborate on the specifics of this supervision in their induction guide, as follows:

“Your PCN will appoint a GP supervisor to provide direct supervision for your work. They will meet you regularly, provide line management, address any issues or concerns and help you to succeed in the role. This will include ensuring that you can raise patient-related concerns (such as abuse, domestic violence, or other safeguarding issues) and can refer individuals back to other health professionals as relevant, for further support, review or monitoring.

Where social prescribing link workers are employed by a partner ‘social prescribing provider’ agency, the GP supervisor will still be required. In this arrangement, the GP supervisor will also need to involve the partner organisation in regular progress updates about your role, enabling clear lines of accountability, effective, seamless, joint working and problem-solving challenges together.”

The guide also adds, separate from having a GP supervisor, that:

“As well as the ongoing support you will receive from the GP supervisor, you should have regular access to clinical or non-managerial supervision both with your GP supervisor and other relevant health professionals within the PCN. This ‘clinical’ or non-managerial supervision will help you to manage the emotional impact of your work and be guided by clinicians on dealing effectively with patient risk factors.”

For more information:

Induction Guide for Social Prescribing Link Workers

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document serves an induction guide for social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) starting employment in a primary care network.

To read it, please click here.

What should practice induction include?

Conveniently, NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I) have put together an induction guide for social prescribing link workers joining a primary care network. This seventeen-page document can signpost you to a range of resources and covers the following topics:

  • Why does social prescribing matter?
  • Who do you work for — and what is a primary care network?
  • What will be you be doing as a social prescribing link worker?
  • And more…

For more information:

Induction Guide for Social Prescribing Link Workers

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document serves an induction guide for social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) starting employment in a primary care network.

To read it, please click here.

What ongoing support is available for SPLWs?

NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I) have, in their social prescribing link worker (SPLW) induction guide, compiled a list of available support structures and mechanisms — including an online learning community, accessible by contacting [email protected].

The Hub's SPLW Lead

Our Profession Lead for Social Prescribing Link Workers (SPLWs) is Jeannie Morrice, here to provide a point of contact for this role, help set objectives and career goals, and to keep you in the loop with SPLW-related work.

Jeannie can be contacted at [email protected] using the button below.

NHSE / I Services

Included in their induction guide for social prescribing link workers (SPLWs), NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I) have compiled a list of ongoing support and resources, including:

  • Learning, developmental and peer support
  • Regional learning co-ordinators
  • Online link worker learning
  • Online collaboration

To read it, please click here.

Example Job Description?

Health Education England (HEE) have not yet produced a template job description. Please check back for future updates.

What supervision do I need to provide?

See technical annexe

What Training & Development is available for SPLW?

Training and support from NHSE/I & HEE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training & Support from the BNSSG Training Hub:

 

  • BNSSG Training Hub has worked with the 6 locality VCSE anchor organisations to create peer support groups for SPLWs. All BNSSG PCN link workers have been invited to attend their local group. The peer support groups started in summer 2020 and are currently running once a month. Please contact [email protected] for more information

 

  • The BNSSH Training Hub have a SPLW Professional Lead to support SPLWs working in primary care in BNSSG and their employing PCNs. Our SPLW Lead is Jeannie Morrice, [email protected]

 

Personalised care training:

The recommended training for SPLWs is as follows:

(Modules include: Core skills, Shared Decision Making, Personalised Care & Support Planning, Person Centred Approaches)

 

 

Please note the BNSSG Training Hub are hoping to provide an accredited 2-day health coaching course from Spring/Summer 2022

Initial Support

See technical annexe for induction

 

 

 

 

Previous experience required?

There are no set entry requirements for this role because your life experience, personal qualities and values are generally more important than qualifications.

Some employers may ask for basic numeracy and literacy plus some IT skills and relevant work experience. Some may also require a qualification at level 3.

Once in a role, you will receive training and development to support you.

Health Careers Webpage

Pleased full details of requirements etc on the health careers site: Social prescribing link worker | Health Careers

The DES Role Descriptors

Below is the Network DES particulars for the SPLW role:

The Network Contract DES provides reimbursement for three personalised care roles based in primary care: Social Prescribing Link Workers, Health and Wellbeing Coaches and Personalised Care Coordinators. These roles form a resource for GPs and other primary care professionals to provide an all-encompassing approach to personalised care. In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, these roles can also play a vital role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of those otherwise at risk of loneliness and social isolation. A single point of access is required for these roles to ensure that people receive the right support at the right time and to reduce the burden on general practice. This would generally be via the Social Prescribing Link Worker(s) who work with the other two roles to triage referrals.

8.5.2. A PCN’s Core Network Practices must identify a first point of contact for each Social Prescribing Link Worker, Health and Wellbeing Coach and Care Coordinator, in order to provide general advice and support, and (if different) a GP to provide supervision. This can be one or more named individuals within the PCN. Individual and group coaching supervision for the Health and Wellbeing coach role must also be available from a suitably qualified or experienced health coaching supervisor.

8.5.3. A PCN’s Core Network Practices must ensure the Social Prescribing Link Worker(s), Health and Wellbeing Coach(es) and Care Coordinator(s) can discuss patient related concerns and be supported to follow appropriate safeguarding procedures (e.g. abuse, domestic violence and support with mental health) with a relevant GP. This GP may be the patient’s named accountable GP, or another GP within the relevant Core Network Practice as appropriate.

8.5.4. Supporting guidance providing further information to help PCNs employ or engage Social Prescribing Link Workers, Health and Wellbeing Coaches and Care Co-ordinators is available at: a. Social prescribing link workers

Network Contract DES

Finance & Network DES

Below is the Network DES particulars for the SPLW role:

The Network Contract DES provides reimbursement for three personalised care roles based in primary care: Social Prescribing Link Workers, Health and Wellbeing Coaches and Personalised Care Coordinators. These roles form a resource for GPs and other primary care professionals to provide an all-encompassing approach to personalised care. In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, these roles can also play a vital role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of those otherwise at risk of loneliness and social isolation. A single point of access is required for these roles to ensure that people receive the right support at the right time and to reduce the burden on general practice. This would generally be via the Social Prescribing Link Worker(s) who work with the other two roles to triage referrals.

8.5.2. A PCN’s Core Network Practices must identify a first point of contact for each Social Prescribing Link Worker, Health and Wellbeing Coach and Care Coordinator, in order to provide general advice and support, and (if different) a GP to provide supervision. This can be one or more named individuals within the PCN. Individual and group coaching supervision for the Health and Wellbeing coach role must also be available from a suitably qualified or experienced health coaching supervisor.

8.5.3. A PCN’s Core Network Practices must ensure the Social Prescribing Link Worker(s), Health and Wellbeing Coach(es) and Care Coordinator(s) can discuss patient related concerns and be supported to follow appropriate safeguarding procedures (e.g. abuse, domestic violence and support with mental health) with a relevant GP. This GP may be the patient’s named accountable GP, or another GP within the relevant Core Network Practice as appropriate.

8.5.4. Supporting guidance providing further information to help PCNs employ or engage Social Prescribing Link Workers, Health and Wellbeing Coaches and Care Co-ordinators is available at: a. Social prescribing link workers – https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/social-prescribing-link-workers

This can be found in the Network DES contract document, in chapter 8: Document template (england.nhs.uk)

Here is a reference guide, provided by NHS England which is aimed at primary care for the social prescribing link worker role:

NHS England report template – data icon

Finance and DES-supported roles

This can be found in the Network DES contract document, in chapter 8: Document template (england.nhs.uk)

Here is a reference guide, provided by NHS England which is aimed at primary care for the social prescribing link worker role:

NHS England report template – data iconB0431-network-contract-des-specification-pcn-requirements-and-entitlements-21-22

Network Contract Links

This can be found in the Network DES contract document, in chapter 8: Document template (england.nhs.uk)

Here is a reference guide, provided by NHS England which is aimed at primary care for the social prescribing link worker role:

NHS England report template – data iconB0431-network-contract-des-specification-pcn-requirements-and-entitlements-21-22

Finance and DES-supported roles

This can be found in the Network DES contract document, in chapter 8: Document template (england.nhs.uk)

Here is a reference guide, provided by NHS England which is aimed at primary care for the social prescribing link worker role:

NHS England report template – data iconB0431-network-contract-des-specification-pcn-requirements-and-entitlements-21-22

Personalised Institute training links

Health Careers Webpage

Pleased full details of requirements etc on the health careers site: Social prescribing link worker | Health Careers

Literature
Induction Guide for Social Prescribing Link Workers

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document serves an induction guide for social prescribing link workers (SPLWs) starting employment in a primary care network.

To read it, please click here.

Network Contract DES contract specification 2021 / 22

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2021 / 22.

To read it, please click here.

NHSE / I Case Studies

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this webpage features a wealth of case studies on social prescribing link workers.

To read it, please click here.

Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service: Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme Guidance

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this guidance document provides information on the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS).

To read it, please click here.

NHSE / I Social Prescribing and Community-Based Support Summary Guide

Provided by NHS England & NHS Improvement (NHSE / I), this document is intended to outline what good social prescribing looks like and assist in implementing it.

To read it, please click here.

NHS Health Careers: Social Prescribing Link Worker

The NHS Health Careers page on social prescribing link workers (SPLWs).

To read it, please click here.

A / V resources
Social prescribing in practice: supporting social prescribing link workers

A series of short films produced by NSHE / I, exploring the impact that social prescribing can make on people, communities, and systems.

To watch it, please click here.

[This video was uploaded on 25.01.22.]

Mental Health Support Workers

Questions?

If you have any questions relating to mental health support workers, please send your queries to [email protected]

Mental Health Support Workers

"Working with other PCN-based roles, MHPs can address the potential range of biopsychosocial needs of patients with mental health problems, as part of a multi-disciplinary team."

Source: NHS Confederation's recruiting mental health practitioners through ARRS guide

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What are they?

What benefits can they bring?

What is their scope of practice?

Is funding available for them?

Any case studies?

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

Any example job descriptions?

Any sample interview questions?

What employment models are there?

What clinical supervision do they need?

What are mental health support workers?

Mental health support workers (MHSWs) are healthcare practitioners trained to support patients (both adults and children) with their mental health, as fully-embedded members of the PCN multidisciplinary team (MDT).

MHSWs work in a ‘first contact’ role, typically seeing patients referred to them by their GP colleagues. Specifically, MHSWs work with patients to support shared decision making about self-management, enable access to treatment services, and – where appropriate – conduct brief psychological interventions. As part of their role, MHSWs work closely with other members of the MDT to address a range of biopsychosocial needs.

While MHSWs are deployed by the PCN, and operate as part of their workforce, they should be employed and provided by the local community mental health service provider. A local service agreement will confirm this arrangement.

This role can be undertaken by any registered clinician working at Band 5 or above, such as:

  • Community psychiatric nurses
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Mental health occupational therapists

This should be agreed between the PCN and community mental health service provider.

For more information:

Network Contract DES contract specification 2021 / 22

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2021 / 22.

To read it, please click here.

NHS Confederation's MHSW guide

Provided by NHS Confederation, this document provides a brief outline of how MHSWs can be recruited via the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) and the benefits of doing so.

To read it, please click here.

What can a Mental Health Support Worker do?

The Specialist Mental Health Practitioner role will help people over 18 years old, who are accessing support through primary care, to define achievable goals and access local community resources.  Areas of focus will include:

  • Those with mental health needs that do not meet the access criteria for IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies provided through Vita Health) and do not meet the access criteria for secondary care.
  • People with serious or significant mental illness (SMI) who are supported within recovery services and relatively stable in secondary care mental health services, who could be cared for within primary care.
  • Those diagnosed with, or presenting with traits of, personality disorder who will benefit from being signposted to services who can best meet their needs
  • Younger adults with SMI (17-25years) particularly those transitioning between children’s and adult services
  • Older adults with complex presenting issues
  • First contact with primary care

MH Job description Outline Doc

The above information was sourced from the following:

 

Band 6 Mental Health Practitioner (ARRS BNSSG) AGREED 04.08.21

What is their scope of practice?

While the exact scope of the role and job description should be agreed between the mental health support worker and their PCN, broadly speaking, the role is qualified to:

  • Engage in shared decision making and support patients to make decisions about self-management
  • Support patients in accessing treatment services
  • Provide brief evidence-based psychological interventions for patients ineligible for IAPT, where such interventions can be safely offered outside of a multidisciplinary mental health team
  • Work closely with other PCN-based roles to address wider patient needs (e.g., PCN clinical pharmacists for medication reviews, and social prescribing link workers for access to community-based support)
  • Operate without the need for formal referral from GPs (including accepting direct bookings where appropriate, subject to agreement on volume and booking mechanism between the practitioner and PCN)
  • Fulfil a consultation, advice, triage, and liaison function, backed by the local community mental health provider through robust clinical governance structures, maintaining quality and safety standards

As stated above, this should not be considered an exhaustive list.

For more information on the scope of practice of this profession, please consult AWP’s job description below:

AWP's Job Description

Provided by AWP, this job description offers a role summary, lists the role’s duties, and provides a template person specification.

To read it, please click here.

What are the benefits of a mental health support worker?

Mental health support workers can bring a wide range of benefits to both their PCN and patients, as follows (sourced from NHS Confederation):

  • Benefits for PCNs:
    • No formal referral processes required
    • Practitioner works as part of the PCN MDT
    • Provides a bridge between primary care and specialist mental health providers
    • Can draw on a range of provider mental health services
    • Reduces employment burden
    • Improved integration between primary care and mental health
  • Benefits for patients:
    • Integrated pathway for patients
    • Access to specialist mental health support services
    • Reduced waiting times
    • Prevention of referral into secondary care
    • Positive patient experience

For more information:

NHS Confederation's MHSW guide

Provided by NHS Confederation, this document provides a brief outline of how MHSWs can be recruited via the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) and the benefits of doing so.

To read it, please click here.

Is funding available for them?

From April 2021 onward, mental health support workers can be employed through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). 50% of the funding will be provided by the local provider of community mental health services, and 50% by the PCN itself (this amount can be reimbursed through the ARRS, however).

The maximum reimbursable amount is still to be decided, however. We hope to have more information over the coming months.

For more information:

BMA's Supporting General Practices in 2021 / 22 update

Hosted by the British Medical Association (BMA), this document from January 2021 provides an update on expansions to the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), including the provision of mental health support workers.

To read it, please click here.

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Please find information on what you should look out for when employing a mental health support worker below:

Personal Characteristics

The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) suggests that mental health practitioners should have the following personal characteristics:

  • Ability to diplomatically challenge inaccurate assumptions and perceptions
  • Comprehensive experience in educating and training the mainstream workforce, particularly non-specialist mental health workers
  • Effective active listening skills, enabling the reframing and testing of understanding
  • Effective verbal communication skills, which can be put to use with people at all levels (even when an assertive approach is needed)
  • Effective written communication skills, with experience of compiling and sorting notes and reports, establishing statistical data, and analysing information
  • In-depth working knowledge of secondary specialist mental health services, the wider health and social care community, and the third sector
  • Possesses a detailed understanding of the relevant legal frameworks / legislation, including CPA process, the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act, and safeguarding
  • Substantial experience in assessing risk and producing risk management strategies
  • Well-versed with Microsoft Office, and willing to embrace new technology and processes
  • Well-versed with national drivers and policies, and with legislation affecting patients and service users

Please note: this information is drawn from AWP’s job description for a Band 6 mental health practitioner — it should, therefore, not be considered an exhaustive list, for all situations.

Training and Qualifications

The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) suggests that mental health practitioners should have the following training and educational qualifications:

  • A professional qualification in mental health, equivalent to a registered RMN (mental health nurse), registered social worker, or registered therapist.
  • In-depth working knowledge of secondary specialist mental health services and the wider health and social care community, as well as the third sector.
  • Comprehensive experience in educating and training the mainstream workforce, particularly non-specialist mental health workers.
  • Substantial experience with assessing risk and producing risk management strategies.
  • Current registration with a professional body, and a commitment to CPD
Competencies

This is an emerging role — we hope to have more information here in due course.

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

As noted under ‘Is funding available for them?‘, mental health support workers (MHSWs) can be reimbursed via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). However, to be eligible for this funding, there are requirements that MHSWs must adhere to.

For instance, as stated in Annex B of the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service contract specification 2021 / 22:

  • B14.2. Where a PCN engages one or more Mental Health Practitioners under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, the PCN must ensure that each Mental Health Practitioner has the following key responsibilities, in delivering health services:
    • provide a combined consultation, advice, triage and liaison function, supported by the local community mental health provider;
    • work with patients to:
      i. support shared decision-making about self-management;
      ii. facilitate onward access to treatment services; and
      iii. provide brief psychological interventions, where qualified to do so and
      where appropriate;
    • work closely with other PCN-based roles to help address the potential range of biopsychosocial needs of patients with mental health problems. This will include the PCN’s MDT, including, for example, PCN clinical pharmacists for medication reviews, and social prescribing link workers for access to community-based support; and
    • may operate without the need for formal referral from GPs, including accepting some direct bookings where appropriate, subject to agreement on volumes and the mechanism of booking between the PCN and the provider.

For more information:

Network Contract DES contract specification 2021 / 22

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2021 / 22.

To read it, please click here.

Any example job descriptions?

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) have a job description appropriate to this role, featuring a role summary and description of its duties, in addition to an example person specification.

For more information:

AWP's Job Description

Provided by AWP, this job description offers a role summary, lists the role’s duties, and provides a template person specification.

To read it, please click here.

Any case studies?

Pulse Intelligence can provide a case study on the impact of implementing a mental health support worker (MHSW), written by Dr. Sophie Kilmartin in 2019 and relating to a practice based in South Gloucestershire. Please consult the full case study below, but the summary reads as follows:

“Our mental health practitioner is a key member of our clinical team. She provides an important service to our patients and we plan to carry on the role in the future. It is easy to forget how much she has eased our workload, but we get a glimpse of that when she is on annual leave and the clinics go back to how they used to be.”

Source:

Pulse Intelligence MHSW case study

Published by Pulse Intelligence, this case study was written by Dr. Sophie Kilmartin in 2019 and relates to the implementation of a mental health support worker (MHSW) in a practice in South Gloucestershire.

To read it, please click here.

Any sample interview questions?

Below is a set of sample interview questions:

  • “What are you able to bring to this post?”
  • “Can you recall a stressful experience you’ve had in the workplace — how did you resolve it?”
  • “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
  • “How would you assess a patient’s needs?”
  • “How would you monitor a patient’s well-being?”
  • “How would you develop a patient’s treatment plan?”
  • “How do you go about defining professional boundaries between yourself and patients, and how do you maintain them?”
  • “How do you minimise risks to your clients and to yourself?”
What employment models are there?

As of April 2021mental health support workers (MHSWs) are included in the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS), owing to a wider transformation of community mental health services for adults and older adults that seeks to bridge the gap between primary and secondary mental health care / physical and mental health services. The full list of measures included in this transformation can be found in the source document below.

But against this backdrop, all PCNs are now entitled to a fully-embedded mental health support worker, employed and provided by the local community mental health service provider. The PCN will be responsible for 50% of the MHSW’s salary and of other costs associated with the role, while the remaining costs are paid for by the community mental health provider. The PCN contribution will be reimbursable via the ARRS, however, up to the maximum reimbursable amount associated with the banding of this role.

This model provides the following benefits for PCNs:

  • PCNs need only fund 50% of the role, while getting the full capacity benefit
  • PCNs do not need to manage the recruitment process, the community mental health service provider does; as such, the MHSW can be deployed more swiftly
  • The role itself if flexible and can be developed based on local needs and circumstances
  • The role will be embedded within the PCN as a shared resource, working across both the PCN core team and their local mental health provider so as to support access to a wider range of community mental health services. This is intended to eliminate current barriers to accessing services and support a genuinely integrated approach across the system.

For more information:

Innovative Employment Models for PCNs

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the different employment models open to primary care networks (PCNs), including for mental health support workers (MHSWs).

To read it, please click here.

What clinical supervision do they need?

There is not yet any detailed guidance on or requirements for clinical supervision for mental health support workers (MHSWs).

But as stated in Annex B of the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service contract specification 2021 / 22:

  • B14.3. A PCN must ensure that the postholder is supported through the local
    community mental health services provider by robust clinical governance
    structures to maintain quality and safety, including supervision where
    appropriate.”

Please stand by until more information becomes available.

Source:

Network Contract DES contract specification 2021 / 22

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2021 / 22.

To read it, please click here.

What ongoing support is available for MHSWs?

Currently, mental health support workers (MHSWs) can receive ongoing support from: ???

Finance & DES-supported roles

Overview of the role

  • AfC TBC 2021/22
  • TBC 2021/22

Mental Health Practitioners – including Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) – to be included in the scheme from April 2021 – Awaiting further advice and guidance.

E-learning for health link

The above info on financing of the MHSW role can be found on the e-learning for health website:

https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/new-roles-in-primary-care/

The DES Role Descriptors

The following information concerns the DES role requirements for Mental Health Support Workers, and full details can be found in the Network Contract DES link below.

 

B.14. Mental Health Practitioners
B14.1. The mental health practitioner role may be undertaken by any registered
clinical role operating at Agenda for Change Band 5 or above including, but
not limited to, a Community Psychiatric Nurse, Clinical Psychologist, Mental
Health Occupational Therapist or other clinical registered role, as agreed
between the PCN and community mental health service provider.

B14.2. Where a PCN engages one or more Mental Health Practitioners under the
Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, the PCN must ensure that each
Mental Health Practitioner has the following key responsibilities, in delivering
health services:
a. provide a combined consultation, advice, triage and liaison function,
supported by the local community mental health provider;
b. work with patients to:
i. support shared decision-making about self-management;
ii. facilitate onward access to treatment services; and
iii. provide brief psychological interventions, where qualified to do so and
where appropriate;
c. work closely with other PCN-based roles to help address the potential
range of biopsychosocial needs of patients with mental health problems.
This will include the PCN’s MDT, including, for example, PCN clinical
pharmacists for medication reviews, and social prescribing link workers for
access to community-based support; and
d. may operate without the need for formal referral from GPs, including
accepting some direct bookings where appropriate, subject to agreement
on volumes and the mechanism of booking between the PCN and the
provider.
B14.3. A PCN must ensure that the postholder is supported through the local
community mental health services provider by robust clinical governance
structures to maintain quality and safety, including supervision where
appropriate

Network Contract DES document

More can be read on the MHSW role des on page 93 of the following document:

B0431-network-contract-des-specification-pcn-requirements-and-entitlements-21-22

Literature
AWP's Job Description

Provided by AWP, this job description offers a role summary, lists the role’s duties, and provides a template person specification.

To read it, please click here.

BMA's Supporting General Practices in 2021 / 22 update

Hosted by the British Medical Association (BMA), this document from January 2021 provides an update on expansions to the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), including the provision of mental health support workers.

To read it, please click here.

Innovative Employment Models for PCNs

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the different employment models open to primary care networks (PCNs), including for mental health support workers (MHSWs).

To read it, please click here.

Network Contract DES contract specification 2021 / 22

Provided by NHSE / I, this document outlines the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for 2021 / 22.

To read it, please click here.

NHS Confederation's MHSW guide

Provided by NHS Confederation, this document provides a brief outline of how MHSWs can be recruited via the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS) and the benefits of doing so.

To read it, please click here.

Pulse Intelligence MHSW case study

Published by Pulse Intelligence, this case study was written by Dr. Sophie Kilmartin in 2019 and relates to the implementation of a mental health support worker (MHSW) in a practice in South Gloucestershire.

To read it, please click here.

A / V resources

There is nothing here yet. Please check back later.

Clinical Pharmacist

Questions?

If you have any questions relating to clinical pharmacists, please send your queries to us at [email protected]

Clinical Pharmacists

"Clinical pharmacists work in primary care as part of a multidisciplinary team in a patient facing role to clinically assess and treat patients using expert knowledge of medicines for specific disease areas."

Source: HEE's Role Overview

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What are they?

What benefits can they bring?

What is their scope of practice?

Is funding available for them?

Are there any case studies?

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

What employment routes are there?

Any example job descriptions?

Any sample interview questions?

What clinical supervision do they need?

What should practice induction include?

What ongoing support is available?

What are clinical pharmacists?

Clinical pharmacists are primary care health professionals, who work in a patient-facing role as part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) to clinically assess and treat patients using their specialised knowledge of medicines. They are responsible for medicines optimisation within their respective primary care network (PCN) and conduct clinical medication reviews for patients with complex polypharmacy, especially the elderly, care home residents, or individuals with multiple co-morbidities.

If not already able to prescribe, clinical pharmacists can achieve an independent prescribing qualification following completion of the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education’s (CPPE) 18-month pathway (completing this or an equivalent, approved course is necessary for clinical pharmacists receiving funding through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS)).

For more information:

HEE's Clinical Pharmacist Role Overview

Provided by HEE, this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of clinical pharmacists.

To read it, please click here.

ARRS Minimum Role Requirements

This appendix, from the Clinical Pharmacist DES Contract, clarifies the minimum requirements for clinical pharmacists receiving funding through the ARRS.

To read it, please click here.

What benefits can clinical pharmacists bring?

Clinical pharmacists can help to ease the workload of and release time for GPs — as a case study provided by NSHEI suggests, the inclusion of a clinical pharmacist in an MDT can reduce the patient need for GP appointments to a significant degree (by 30% in the case of Wallingbrook Health Group, Devon). By extension, clinical pharmacists can help to decrease prescription error rates and medication-related, non-elective hospital admissions.

In short, clinical pharmacists can help to improve not only the quality of care provided to practice’s service-users, but also the efficiency and well-being of other members of staff.

Please read NHSEI Devon Case Study and Clinical pharmacists in general practice: a necessity not a luxury? below, for more information.

NHSEI Devon Case Study

Hosted by NHSEI, this case study examines the highly positive impact a clinical pharmacist had on practices in Devon.

To read it, please click here.

Clinical pharmacists in general practice: a necessity not a luxury?

From the British Journal of General Practice (February 2018), this article is linked to from Dorset Training Hub’s website.

To read it, please click here.

What is their scope of practice?

Clinical pharmacists are qualified to carry out the following activities, as part of their scope of practice:

  • Collaborate with care homes to provide support on medicines-related issues
  • Conduct clinical switching protocols and alternative prescribing policies
  • Conduct evidence-based Medicines and Best Practice reviews
  • Conduct structured medication reviews
  • Domiciliary reviews
  • Educate other members of their MDT and patients on the use of specific medicines
  • Manage polypharmacy and co-morbidity complexities
  • Provide high-risk medicines monitoring
  • Provide medicines information and advice to other members of their MDT, patients, and the general public
  • Provide medicines reconciliation, supporting safe transfers of care
  • Provide prescribing and clinic management (e.g., Minor Ailments Clinics)
  • Treat patients with complex long-term conditions, like “difficult” hypertension

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, however.

For more information on the scope of practice of this profession, please consult HEE’s Clinical Pharmacist Role Overview and the Dorset Training Hub’s page on clinical pharmacists.

HEE's Clinical Pharmacist Role Overview

Provided by HEE, this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of clinical pharmacists.

To read it, please click here.

Dorset Training Hub's Clinical Pharmacist Page

Kindly provided by Dorset Training Hub, this page signposts to several useful documents exploring the role of clinical pharmacists.

To read it, please click here.

Is funding available for them?

HEE stipulates that from April 2020, clinical pharmacists will be reimbursed via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) at 100% of actual salary plus defined on costs. This is up the maximum reimbursable amount of £55,670 over 12 months.

Source:

HEE's Clinical Pharmacist Role Overview

Provided by HEE, this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of clinical pharmacists.

To read it, please click here.

Are there any case studies?

NHSEI is able to provide a couple of case studies, focused on clinical pharmacists located in Devon and Norwich, and the valuable contributions they made to their respective practices.

For more:

NHSEI Devon Case Study

Hosted by NHSEI, this case study examines the highly positive impact a clinical pharmacist had on practices in Devon.

To read it, please click here.

NHSEI Norwich Case Study

Hosted by NHSEI, this case study examines the beneficial impact a clinical pharmacist had on practices in Norwich.

To read it, please click here.

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Please find information on what you should look out for when employing a clinical pharmacist below:

Personal Characteristics

Clinical pharmacists should have personal characteristics that are in keeping with the Standards for pharmacy professionals provided by the General Pharmaceutical Council, with the most recent standards being published in May 2017. They outline what is expected from pharmacy professionals, and serve as a reflection of how pharmacy professionals view themselves and their colleagues.

In short, clinical pharmacists should adhere to these nine standards:

  • Provide person-centred care
  • Work in partnership with others
  • Communicate effectively
  • Maintain, develop and use their professional knowledge and skills
  • Use professional judgement
  • Behave in a professional manner
  • Respect and maintain patient confidentiality and privacy
  • Speak up when they have concerns or when things go wrong
  • Demonstrate leadership

To read the Standards themselves, which include a breakdown, please click here.

Training and Qualifications

Clinical pharmacists must have completed a General Pharmaceutical Council-accredited (GPhC) Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree. This is typically a full-time, four-year course, provided by a number of universities from across the country.

A clinical pharmacist should also be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). To see what is required to register with the GPhC, please consult the guide linked below, published in January 2021.

To access it the guide, please click here.
For a list of all accredited courses and qualifications, please click here.

To be employed in primary care and receive funding from the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), there are additional criteria that pharmacy technicians must meet.

For a breakdown of these, please click here.

Competencies

Clinical pharmacists should have experience with the following competencies:

  • Working with GPs and patients to address medicine adherence
  • Reviewing patients on complex medicine regimens
  • Triaging and managing common ailments
  • Responding to acute medicine requests
  • Managing and prescribing for long-term conditions (often with the practice nurse)
  • Holding minor ailment clinics
  • Prescription management
  • Dealing with medication for patients recently discharged from hospital
  • Helping the practice deliver on the patients recently discharged from hospital
  • Helping the practice deliver on the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) and Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) agenda and enhanced services
  • Delivering repeat prescription reviews
  • Being the point of contact for all medicine-related queries
  • Overseeing the practice’s repeat prescription policy
  • Taking over clinical medicines reviews from GPs
  • Audit and education
  • Medicines management
  • In dispensing practices, pharmacists can take responsibility for the business management of the dispensary

This list has been sourced from HEE’s Clinical Pharmacist Role Overview. To see the original, please click here.

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

As noted under ‘Is funding available for them?‘, clinical pharmacists can be reimbursed via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). However, to be eligible for this funding, there are requirements that clinical pharmacists must adhere to.

For instance, as stated in Annex B of the Clinical Pharmacist Direct Enhanced Service (DES) contract:

  • “B1.1. Where a PCN employs or engages a Clinical Pharmacist under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, the PCN ensure that the Clinical Pharmacist is enrolled in, or has qualified from, an approved 18-month training pathway or equivalent that equips the Clinical Pharmacist to:
    • a. be able to practice and prescribe safely and effectively in a primary care setting (for example, the CPPE Clinical Pharmacist training pathways);
    • b. and deliver the key responsibilities outlined in section B1.2.”

Section B1.2. relates to the key responsibilities that clinical pharmacists must undertake.

To read the full annex, please consult ARRS Minimum Role Requirements below.

ARRS Minimum Role Requirements

This appendix, from the Clinical Pharmacist DES Contract, clarifies the minimum requirements for clinical pharmacists receiving funding through the ARRS.

To read it, please click here.

What employment routes are there?

According to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), there are two routes to registration for clinical pharmacists intending to work in Great Britain. As laid out in their Criteria for registration document, the routes are:

  • Initial registration by UK- and internationally-qualified pharmacy technicians
  • Initial registration by an applicant not in possession of a relevant European qualification
  • Returning to registration after a period of absence

All three routes are detailed in the Criteria document, linked below. In addition to education and training checks, the registration routes also look at candidates’ health, character, identity, and grasp of the English language.

For more information:

GPhC Criteria for registration

Produced by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), this twelve-page document covers the requirements for clinical pharmacists wishing to practise in Great Britain (which requires registering with them). Last published in January 2021.

To access it, please click here.

Please note: to be employed in primary care and receive funding from the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), there are additional criteria that clinical pharmacists must meet.

For a breakdown of these additional requirements:

ARRS Minimum Role Requirements

This appendix, from the Clinical Pharmacist DES Contract, clarifies the minimum requirements for clinical pharmacists receiving funding through the ARRS.

To read it, please click here.

Any example job descriptions?

NSHEI have developed a job description, in addition to a recruitment pack — these are both available on the FutureNHS site. Accessing the site requires you to create an account; once done, you can visit the role selection page to find the resources in question (click here to jump to the role selection page — remember, you will need to be logged in to access it).

Alternatively, you can download HealthWest’s job description by clicking here.

The Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) have also kindly provided several example job descriptions, for various bands of working, on their site, accessible via the button below.

Any sample interview questions?

The Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) kindly provides sample interview questions for clinical pharmacists on their website, accessible via the button below. The sample interview questions themselves are at the bottom of the page.

What clinical supervision do they need?

When employed in primary care under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), clinical pharmacists must be part of a professional clinical network and receive clinical supervision. Specifically, they must have:

  • A minimum of one supervision session per month, delivered by a senior clinical pharmacist
  • Senior pharmacists should receive a minimum of one supervision session every three months, delivered by a GP clinical supervisor
  • All pharmacy professionals must have access to an assigned GP clinical supervisor, whom can provide support and development
  • There should be a ratio of one senior clinical pharmacist to five clinical pharmacists — and in all cases, appropriate peer support and supervision must be in place for each pharmacist

Sourced from:

ARRS Minimum Role Requirements

This appendix, from the Clinical Pharmacist DES Contract, clarifies the minimum requirements for clinical pharmacists receiving funding through the ARRS.

To read it, please click here.

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) offers training to become a clinical supervisor for individuals supervising pharmacy professionals on the CPPE Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway. This is a half-day workshop generally, but it can be completed by attending two webinars.

Interested individuals can apply for a space via the CPPE website, here. If you are not a pharmacy professional, you will need to create an account on the site before you are able to book a place.

For more:

Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway

This page, produced by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), elaborates on the clinical supervision requirements for clinical pharmacists working in primary care.

To read it, please click here.

What should practice induction include?

Practice induction for clinical pharmacists should include:

  • Signing them up on e-Learning for Health (e-LFH) to complete mandatory training | Please click here to access e-LFH
  • Signing them up on TeamNet, so that they can access relevant policies | Please click here to access TeamNet
  • Provide them with EMIS training, via the CCG
  • Familiarise them with the BNSSG Joint Formulary | Please click here to access it
  • Link with the CCG Medicines Optimisation Team, particularly if they should need Eclipse / Radar training
  • Provide them with Docman training
  • Set them up on the CPPE site and with access to Canvas, so they that can undertake the Centre’s e-Courses | Please click here for more information

Clinical pharmacists should be sure to meet and shadow your PCN’s current pharmacists and prescription team. They should meet practice manager(s), deputy practice manager(s), reception manager(s), reception lead(s), clinical staff, and their supervisor(s), in addition to the CCG’s Medicines Optimisation Pharmacist.

What ongoing support is available for clinical pharmacists?

There are various ways in which clinical pharmacists can receive support, including:

The ACP Forum

Organised and led by our ACP Lead, Kerri Magnus, The ACP Forum can assist clinical pharmacists on the journey to becoming an advanced clinical practitioner. The Forum can signpost to relevant education and training, provide 1-to-1 guidance, and facilitate networking with like-minded colleagues from across BNSSG.

To visit The ACP Forum’s site, please click here.

The Hub's Physiotherapy Lead

Our Profession Lead for Physiotherapy is Jo Clarke, here to provide a point of contact for clinical pharmacists, help set objectives and career goals, and to keep you n the loop with our pharmacy-related work.

Jo can be contacted at [email protected] using the button below.

Training Opportunities & Funding for General Practice Pharmacists

Compiled by Jo Clarke (Profession Lead for Pharmacy), this guide outlines the assortment of training opportunities and funding on offer for clinical pharmacists working in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire — whether they’re funded through the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS), or by the CCG.

Version 1.2 is currently available, which was last updated on Wednesday 1 December.

To read it, please click here.

Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE)

The CPPE is part of the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry in the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health. It is dedicated to providing professional development opportunities and support to pharmacy staff, including through coaching and networking.

To find out more, please click here.

Literature
ARRS Minimum Role Requirements

This appendix, from the Clinical Pharmacist DES Contract, clarifies the minimum requirements for clinical pharmacists receiving funding through the ARRS.

To read it, please click here.

Clinical pharmacists in general practice: a necessity not a luxury?

From the British Journal of General Practice (February 2018), this article is linked to from Dorset Training Hub’s website.

To read it, please click here.

Dorset Training Hub's Clinical Pharmacist Page

Kindly provided by Dorset Training Hub, this page signposts to several useful documents exploring the role of clinical pharmacists.

To read it, please click here.

GPhC Criteria for registration

Produced by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), this twelve-page document covers the requirements for clinical pharmacists wishing to practise in Great Britain (which requires registering with them). Last published in January 2021.

To access it, please click here.

HEE's Clinical Pharmacist Role Overview

Provided by HEE, this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of clinical pharmacists.

To read it, please click here.

NHSEI Devon Case Study

Hosted by NHSEI, this case study examines the highly positive impact a clinical pharmacist had on practices in Devon.

To read it, please click here.

NHSEI Norwich Case Study

Hosted by NHSEI, this case study examines the beneficial impact a clinical pharmacist had on practices in Norwich.

To read it, please click here.

Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway

This page, produced by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), elaborates on the clinical supervision requirements for clinical pharmacists working in primary care.

To read it, please click here.

Standards for pharmacy professionals

Regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council, these standards outline what is expected of pharmacy professionals, including clinical pharmacists.

To read them, please click here.

A/V resources
I'd like to see the clinical pharmacist

Produced by NSHEI for the NHS’ 70th anniversary in 2018, this video explores the role of a clinical pharmacist in their primary care MDT.

To watch it, please click here.

[This video was uploaded on 07.05.19.]

Pharmacy Technicians

Questions?

If you have any questions relating to pharmacy technicians, please send your queries to us at [email protected]

Pharmacy Technicians

"Pharmacy technicians play an important role within general practice and complement the more clinical work of clinical pharmacist, through utilisation of their technical skillset."

Source: HEE's Role Overview

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next arrownext arrow
Slider

What are they?

What benefits can they bring?

What is their scope of practice?

Is funding available for them?

Any case studies?

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Are there any requirements to receive ARRS funding?

What employment routes are there?

Any job descriptions?

Any sample interview questions?

What clinical supervision do they need?

What ongoing support is available?

What are they?

Pharmacy technicians are an emerging profession in general practice and play a valuable role within the primary care multi-disciplinary team (MDT), supporting their fellow healthcare professionals in focusing on clinical care.  The role complements clinical pharmacists, with pharmacy technicians typically working under the direction of clinical pharmacists in a practice pharmacy team.

Pharmacy technicians can complete a variety of tasks through use of their acquired pharmaceutical knowledge, help with a range of tasks that vary in complexity from preparing the repeat prescriptions to undertaking prescribing audits and helping patients get the best outcomes from taking their medicines providing consultations to ensure patients use their medicines appropriately, and conducting audits.

HEE's Pharmacy Technician Role Overview

Provided by HEE, this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of pharmacy technicians.

To read it, please click here.

What benefits can they bring?

There are several benefits to appointing a pharmacy technician to your team. As long-established healthcare professionals, they are well-equipped to deal with a wide range of tasks (managing prescription queries and repeat requests, as examples), allowing clinical pharmacists and GPs to spend their time addressing more complex cases.

Dorset Training Hub has produced a two-page document exploring what pharmacy technicians can bring to primary care MDTs, as linked below:

What Can Pharmacy Technicians Contribute to the GP Team?

Produced by Dorset Training Hub, this two-page document highlights the benefits arising from having pharmacy technicians in primary care MDTs.

To read it, please click here.

Greater Manchester Training Hub, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care, NSHEI, and HEE have also produced a video which partly explores the benefits provided by pharmacy technicians.

For more:

ARRS Webinar 4 - Pharmacy Techs & Physician Associates

Provided by Greater Manchester Training Hub, HEE, NHSEI, and Greater Manchester Health and Social Care, this webinar partly covers the role and work of pharmacy technicians.

[This was published on 07.04.21]

To watch it, please click here.

What is their scope of practice?

The scope of practice of a pharmacy technician includes, but is not exhaustively limited to, the following tasks:

  • Act in patient-facing and patient-supporting roles, facilitating shared decision making conversations, to see to it that medicines are used effectively
  • Carry out clinical duties
  • Champion antimicrobial stewardship in order to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing
  • Collaborate with clinical pharmacists on the clinical aspects of shared care protocols and treatments for more complex patients
  • Complete medication reviews
  • Deliver audits
  • Helping PCNs to ensure efficient medicine optimisation processes are in place, in addition to meds reviews for patients
  • Respond to medicines information queries
  • Support the implementation of personalised care
  • Where appropriate, offer specialist expertise to fellow MDT staff, patients, and the general public (this can include lifestyle advice, service information, and guidance on local health inequalities)

For more information on the scope of practice of this profession, please consult HEE’s Pharmacy Technician Role Overview and the Dorset Training Hub’s page on pharmacy technicians.

HEE's Pharmacy Technician Role Overview

Provided by HEE, this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of pharmacy technicians.

To read it, please click here.

Dorset Training Hub's Pharmacy Technician Page

Kindly provided by Dorset Training Hub, this page signposts to several useful documents including the role of Pharmacy Technicians

To read it, please click here.

Is funding available for them?

HEE stipulates that from April 2020, pharmacy technicians will be reimbursed via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) at 100% of actual salary plus defined on costs. This is up the maximum reimbursable amount of £35,389 over 12 months.

Source:

HEE's Pharmacy Technician Role Overview

Provided by HEE, this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of pharmacy technicians.

To read it, please click here.

What characteristics, training / qualifications, and competencies should they have?

Please find information on what you should look out for when employing a pharmacy technician below:

Personal Characteristics

Pharmacy technicians should have personal characteristics that are in keeping with the Standards for pharmacy professionals provided by the General Pharmaceutical Council, with the most recent standards being published in May 2017. They outline what is expected from pharmacy professionals, and serve as a reflection of how pharmacy professionals view themselves and their colleagues.

In short, Pharmacy Technicians should adhere to these nine standards:

  • Provide person-centred care
  • Work in partnership with others
  • Communicate effectively
  • Maintain, develop and use their professional knowledge and skills
  • Use professional judgement
  • Behave in a professional manner
  • Respect and maintain patient confidentiality and privacy
  • Speak up when they have concerns or when things go wrong
  • Demonstrate leadership

To read the Standards themselves, which include a breakdown, please click here.

Training and Qualifications

There are a range of education, training, and experience requirements that pharmacy technicians must meet in order to practise in their profession. For starters, they must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) — to register with the GPhC, they must meet a number of criteria, including completion of both a knowledge qualification / course and a competence qualification. This can be achieved through GPhC-accredited courses, GPhC-recognised qualifications, or a GPhC-approved apprenticeship pathway.

The GPhC has provided, as of January 2021, a comprehensive ten-page breakdown of the requirements for registering as a pharmacy technician. It outlines what pharmacy technicians need to do to register in the first instance and if they are returning to work following a period of absence.

To access it, please click here.
For a list of all accredited courses and qualifications, please click here.

To be employed in primary care and receive funding from the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), there are additional criteria that pharmacy technicians must meet.

For a breakdown of these, please click here.

Competencies

Pharmacy Technicians should have experience with the following competencies:

  • Providing safe and effective pharmacy services
  • Supply medicines and devices to patients, whether on prescription or over the counter
  • Achieving the best outcomes through a patient’s medicines
  • Assemble medicines for prescription
  • Provide information to patients and other healthcare professionals
  • Manage areas of medicine supply such as dispensaries
  • Supervise other pharmacy staff/training and development
  • Answering patients’ questions face to face or by phone
  • Pre-packing, assembling, and labelling medicines
  • Referring problems or queries to the pharmacist
  • Quality control
  • Procurement
  • Information technology
  • Clinical trials
  • Medicines information

This list has been sourced from HEE’s Pharmacy Technician Role Overview. To see the original, please click here.

Are there any requirements to receive funding?

As noted under ‘Is funding available for them?‘, Pharmacy Technicians can be reimbursed via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). However, to be eligible for this funding, there are requirements that clinical pharmacists must adhere to.

For instance, as stated in Annex B of the Clinical Pharmacist Direct Enhanced Service (DES) contract:

  • “B2.1. Where a PCN employs or engages a Pharmacy Technician under the
    Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme, the PCN must ensure that the Pharmacy Technician:

    • a. is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC);
    • b. meets the specific qualification and training requirements as specified by the GPhC criteria to register as a Pharmacy Technician;
    • c. be enrolled in, undertaking or qualified from, an approved training pathway. For example, the Primary Care Pharmacy Educational Pathway (PCPEP) or Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes (MOCH);
    • and d. is working under appropriate clinical supervision to ensure safe, effective and efficient use of medicines in order to deliver the key responsibilities outlined in section B2.2.”

Section B1.2. relates to the key responsibilities that clinical pharmacists must undertake.

To read the full annex, please consult ARRS Minimum Role Requirements below.

ARRS Minimum Role Requirements

This document, Network Contract DES, clarifies the minimum requirements for Pharmacy Technicians receiving funding through the ARRS. Please refer to page 16 onwards.

To read it, please click here.

Any case studies?

Health Education England (HEE) East Midlands is able to provide several short case studies, showcasing the different roles undertaken by pharmacy technicians in improving clinical care and efficiency in a variety of settings, and highlighting the possibilities this profession has to offer.

What employment routes are there for pharmacy technicians?

According to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), there are two routes to registration for pharmacy technicians intending to work in Great Britain. As laid out in their Criteria for registration document, the routes are:

  • Initial registration by UK- and internationally-qualified pharmacy technicians
  • Returning to registration after a period of absence

Both routes are detailed in the Criteria document, linked below. In addition to education and training checks, the registration routes also look at candidates’ health, character, identity, and grasp of the English language.

For more information:

GPhC Criteria for registration

Produced by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), this ten-page document covers the requirements for pharmacy technicians wishing to practise in Great Britain (which requires registering with them). Last published in January 2021.

To access it, please click here.

Please note: to be employed in primary care and receive funding from the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), there are additional criteria that pharmacy technicians must meet.

For a breakdown of these additional requirements:

ARRS Minimum Role Requirements

This appendix, from the Pharmacy Technician Contract DES, clarifies the minimum requirements for Pharmacy Technicians receiving funding through the ARRS.

To read it, please refer to pages 70/71 click here.

What ongoing support is available for pharmacy technicians?

There are various ways in which pharmacy technicians can receive support, including:

The ACP Forum

Organised and led by our ACP Lead, Kerri Magnus, The ACP Forum can assist clinical pharmacists on the journey to becoming an advanced clinical practitioner. The Forum can signpost to relevant education and training, provide 1-to-1 guidance, and facilitate networking with like-minded colleagues from across BNSSG.

To visit The ACP Forum’s site, please click here.

The Hub's Physiotherapy Lead

We hope to soon be welcoming a new member to our team: a Physiotherapy Lead. They will provide a point of contact for clinical pharmacists, helping you to set objectives and career goals, and to keep in the loop with our pharmacy-related work.

Please stand by for more.

CPPE Pharmacy Technician Newsletter

This is a quarterly email newsletter, intended to keep you up to date with events at the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE). To receive it, please register on the CPPE site or update your profile.

To head over to the CPPE site, please click here.

Any sample interview questions?

The Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) kindly provides sample interview questions for pharmacy technicians on their website, accessible via the button below. The sample interview questions themselves are at the bottom of the page.

Any job descriptions?

NSHEI have developed a job description, in addition to a recruitment pack — these are both available on the FutureNHS site. Accessing the site requires you to create an account; once done, you can visit the role selection page to find the resources in question (click here to jump to the role selection page — remember, you will need to be logged in to access it).

The Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) have also kindly provided several example job descriptions, for various bands of working, on their site, accessible via the button below.

What clinical supervision do they need?

When employed in primary care under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), pharmacy technicians must receive an appropriate level of clinical supervision.  The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) clarifies that this involves supervision from a pharmacist experienced in the same area of practice.

GPs are able to serve this function, too, but they are expected to liaise with a senior pharmacist to better understand the scope of practice of pharmacy technicians, and how best to help them develop.

The CPPE also offers training to become a clinical supervisor for individuals supervising pharmacy professionals on the CPPE Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway. This is a half-day workshop generally, but it can be completed by attending two webinars.

Interested individuals can apply for a space via the CPPE website, here. If you are not a pharmacy professional, you will need to create an account on the site before you are able to book a place.

For more information on CPPE’s offer, and the requirements for pharmacy clinical supervision, please peruse the Primary care pharmacy education pathway booklet below.

Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway

Produced by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), this thirty-eight-page document covers the work of pharmacy clinical supervisors. Last published in June 2021.

To access it, please click here.

Literature
ARRS Minimum Role Requirements

This appendix, from the Clinical Pharmacist DES Contract, clarifies the minimum requirements for clinical pharmacists receiving funding through the ARRS.

To read it, please click here.

Dorset Training Hub's Pharmacy Technician Page

Kindly provided by Dorset Training Hub, this page signposts to several useful documents exploring the role of clinical pharmacists.

To read it, please click here.

GPhC Criteria for registration

Produced by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), this ten-page document covers the requirements for pharmacy technicians wishing to practise in Great Britain (which requires registering with them). Last published in January 2021.

To access it, please click here.

HEE's Pharmacy Technician Role Overview

Provided by HEE, this page offers a succinct look at the education and training requirements, skills and competencies, and work activities of pharmacy technicians.

To read it, please click here.

Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway

Produced by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), this thirty-eight-page document covers the work of pharmacy clinical supervisors. Last published in June 2021.

To access it, please click here.

What Can Pharmacy Technicians Contribute to the GP Team?

Produced by Dorset Training Hub, this two-page document highlights the benefits arising from having pharmacy technicians in primary care MDTs.

To read it, please click here.

A/V resources
ARRS Webinar 4 - Pharmacy Techs & Physician Associates

Provided by Greater Manchester Training Hub, HEE, NHSEI, and Greater Manchester Health and Social Care, this webinar partly covers the role and work of pharmacy technicians.

[This was published on 07.04.21]

To watch it, please click here.

First Contact Physiotherapists

Diagnostic clinicians who work in primary care, addressing undiagnosed and undifferentiated MSK presentations

Serve as the first point of contact for patients with MSK conditions, releasing time for GPs and providing specialist support

In 2016, the British Medical Association asserted that an "expanded workforce in and around the practice" should include FCPs

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Questions?

If you have any questions relating to first contact physiotherapists, or even to advanced physiotherapists, please feel free to contact our ACP Lead, Kerri Magnus, at [email protected].

HEE’s Roadmap to Practice

HEE has published their Roadmap to Practice for first contact physiotherapists, which features a wealth of information pertaining to the role’s requirements and paths to progress to advanced practice.

To read it, please click here.

UPDATED: To watch HEE and the CSP’s webinar on the Roadmap to Practice, please click here.

What are they?

What benefits can they bring?

What is their scope of practice?

Is funding available for them?

Are there any case studies?

What training, qualifications, and competencies should they have?

What educational pathways are there?

NEW: How does the ARRS link to HEE's Roadmap?

Are they eligible for the apprenticeship levy?

Any example job descriptions?

Any sample interview questions?

What clinical supervision do they need?

NEW: What ongoing support is available?

Updates

This first contact physiotherapy summary page was last updated on 05.05.21. The following sections were updated:

  • How does the ARRS link to HEE’s Roadmap?
    [Under ‘How do you employ a first contact physiotherapist?’]
  • What ongoing support is available?
    [Under ‘What support do first contact physiotherapists need?’]
What are first contact physiotherapists?

First contact physiotherapists are the first point-of-contact for patients with MSK conditions in primary care; they are at the top of their clinical scope of practice at Agenda for Change Band 7 (A Roadmap to Practice, see below).

They are qualified to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage patients, and when appropriate, can discharge them without a medical referral. They refer patients to GPs to address non-MSK conditions and pharmacology outside their agreed scope of practice.

They also have a range of clinical and service-based responsibilities, playing an important role in supporting ongoing educational and research development within primary care.

A Roadmap to Practice

Produced by HEE, this document provides a roadmap of education for practice, for all first contact physiotherapists working in primary care.

To read this document, please click here.

What benefits can first contact physiotherapists bring?

The presence of first contact physiotherapists in multi-disciplinary teams can help to release time for GPs; one-in-five GP appointments are about musculoskeletal conditions, thereby allowing them to address other presentations. Physiotherapists may also bring an increased focus on lifestyle issues, such as smoking, drinking, and lack of sleep; all these issues can exacerbate muscle pain, and physiotherapists are well-placed to assist in ensuring that patients can be pain-free and mobile.

Please see What MSK First Contact Physiotherapists can offer you below for more information.


In my view and experience [first contact physiotherapists] are a valued and now essential member of the primary care team. The role is effective both in delivering great outcomes and experience for patients but also in our area resilience for practices. Their approach in my experience empowers patients to better self-manage their condition and become less reliant on traditional medical approaches such as analgesia.

Dr. Darren Cocker
GP, Lydden Surgery
Deputy Governing Body Member, Kent and Medway CCG
GP Tutor, HEE

(Ref. What MSK First Contact Physiotherapists can offer you)

What MSK First Contact Physiotherapists can offer you

Produced by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, this page outlines the case for first contact physiotherapists and the benefits you can expect from employing them.

To visit this page, please click here.

Diagram sourced from CSP’s What MSK First Contact Physiotherapists can offer you

What is the scope of their practice?

First contact physiotherapist appointments typically last 20 minutes, to provide ample time for safe and effective consultation. Most appointments involve assessment, diagnosis, and first-line treatment, but first contact physiotherapists are qualified to:

  • Assess and diagnose — this includes screening for serious pathologies
  • Refer for a course of treatment
  • Refer to orthopaedic / rheumatology / pain services
  • Convey information about self-care and facilitate behaviour change
  • Discuss physical activity and health — i.e., discuss the negative impact of lifestyle choices on a patient or service user’s health (e.g., smoking)
  • Appraise fitness for work
  • Conduct social prescribing
  • Conduct medicines optimisation
  • Request investigations
  • Administer soft-tissue injections (if qualified)

For more information, please consult CSP’s About First Contact Physiotherapist services page below.

About First Contact Physiotherapist services

Produced by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, this page answers several FAQs about the scope and function of first contact physiotherapy in primary care.

To visit this page, please click here.

How much training do they have?

According to HEE’s e-Learning for Health platform, to work in primary care FCPs must have completed a physiotherapy degree (BSc).

For Band 7 roles, FCPs must complete the HEE Primary Care FCP capability training, at minimum, and be backed by appropriate governance and indemnity. For Band 8A roles, this training should be completed and the FCP must be working at an advanced level of practice (e.g., at Master’s level) across all four pillars of Advanced Practice.

(Source: First Contact Physiotherapist,
HEE)


For more information, please consult HEE’s First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care: (Musculoskeletal) A Roadmap to Practice, via the button below.

Is funding available for them?

First contact physiotherapist roles created from 31 March 2019 onward will likely be funded, in part, by PCNs through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), as detailed in the five-year framework for GP services agreed between NHS England and the BMA General Practitioners Committee (GPC). The scheme is projected to produce around 20,000+ additional posts in five reimbursable primary care roles by 2023 / 24, including the first contact physiotherapist role.

Through ARRS, NHS England will reimburse employment on-costs, in addition to 70% of ongoing salary expenses.

This is but only one way in which to secure funding for first contact physiotherapists, however.

For more, please consult HEE’s Implementation Guide using the collapsible box below.

HEE's Implementation Guide

This document addresses capability frameworks and governance issues around introducing implementation of first contact physiotherapists.

To read it, please click here.

What training, qualifications, and competencies should a physio have?

Please find below links to two significant documents which will help service providers, managers, and physiotherapists themselves to identify what training, qualifications, and competencies they should have to safely and effectively practice at first contact and advanced practice levels.

A Roadmap to Practice

HEE are in the process of producing a roadmap of education for practice for all first contact practitioner roles, including physiotherapists. This roadmap sets out:

  • The definition of first contact roles, their respective training processes, and educational pathways
  • The definition of advanced practice roles, their respective training processes, and educational pathways
  • How to build a portfolio of evidence for both first contact and advanced practice roles

As such, this document should be considered invaluable when determining what skills and knowledge a first contact physiotherapist should have under their belt to practice and progress.

To read this document, please click here.

Musculoskeletal Core Capabilities Framework (CCF)

Skills for Health, Health Education England, NHS England, Public Health England, and the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) have collaborated to produce an MSK Core Capabilities Framework. This document is intended to provide a resource by which first contact physiotherapists can demonstrate and evidence how they meet the capabilities required for the role, and to assist them in identifying their specific learning needs.

To read this framework, please click here.

Are there any case studies?

NHSE / I have produced a document featuring the details of 16 first contact physiotherapist case studies, which you may access using the button below.

Are physios eligible for the apprenticeship levy?

The short answer is yes — to access it, a first contact physiotherapist will need to secure the backing of a GP and their practice manager, before reaching out to the Training Hub. It is then a matter of applying to UWE’s apprenticeship scheme.

For more information, please do contact our ACP Lead, Kerri Magnus, at [email protected]t using the button below.

Alternatively, you can download MSc AP Apprenticeship Programme to read more about UWE’s scheme for advanced clinical practitioners.

MSc AP Apprenticeship Programme

This document provides information on UWE’s apprenticeship programme for advanced clinical practitioners.

To read it, please click here.

What academic qualifications should an FCP have?

An FCP should be pursuing one of the following routes to become qualified:

  • Completing a BSc Physiotherapy degree at a recognised university
  • Completing a BSc Degree Apprenticeship, combining on-the-job training with university-level learning an study
  • Completing an integrated Master’s degree — a four-year, full-time course combining undergraduate and postgraduate study into a single course
  • Completing a Master of Science degree for those who have studied at undergraduate level in another relevant subject area: (e.g., biological sciences, psychology, or sports science, consisting of a range of lectures, placements, and assessments over 2 years

Generally speaking, an FCP should have 1,000 placement hours under their belt, though this can vary depending on the qualification they’re pursuing.

Detailed information on accredited university courses can be found at this link:
Find a physiotherapy programme | The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (csp.org.uk)

Any example job descriptions?

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has kindly produced two example job descriptions for Band 8A and Band 7 first contact physiotherapists. As they state, however, these JDs are only examples, providing a broad overview of the responsibilities of the role; local JDs will be structured differently, reflecting local needs.

Likewise, HEE has example JDs on their e-Learning for Health Hub, though it should be noted that these are still being drafted and therefore subject to change.

Please note: the banding is a point of reference for allied health professionals and their employers, and is not a reflection of the capability of the individual. In primary care, pay is negotiated on an individual basis.

Any sample interview questions?

We will provide sample interview questions soon. Thank you for your patience.

What clinical supervision do you need to provide?

HEE stipulates that the clinical supervision you provide should build the first contact physiotherapist’s confidence, capability, clinical reasoning, and critical thinking. As such, it should include:

  • Regular supervision within practice
  • A routine debrief (at least daily) to ensure patient and practitioner safety
  • A high-quality feedback process, to help with addressing practitioner and patient uncertainty
  • A Workplace-Based Assessment (WPBA) to assess the application of knowledge, skills, and behaviours in primary care

For information on how to become a first contact physiotherapist’s supervisor, please consult the illustration and relevant documents below.

HEE Clinical Supervision for FCPs / ACPs FAQs

Compiled by Kerri Magnus, this document addresses many frequently asked questions surrounding clinical supervision for first contact practitioners and advanced clinical practitioners (including first contact physiotherapists).

To read it, please click here.

HEE's FCP / ACP Roadmap Supervision slides

Provided by HEE, this slide deck outlines the supervision process for first contact practitioners and advanced clinical practitioners.

To read it, please click here.

HEE's Workplace Supervision for Advanced Clinical Practice guide

Produced by HEE, this document is intended for employers and supervisors, to support them in delivering high-quality workplace supervision to advanced clinical practitioners in training.

To read it, please click here.

What ongoing support is available?

There are various ways in which first contact physiotherapists can receive support, including:

The ACP Forum

Organised and led by our ACP Lead, Kerri Magnus, The ACP Forum can assist first contact physiotherapists on the journey to becoming an advanced clinical practitioner. The Forum can signpost to relevant education and training, provide 1-to-1 guidance, and facilitate networking with like-minded colleagues from across BNSSG.

To visit The ACP Forum’s site, please click here.

1:1 Sessions

Kerri Magnus, our ACP Lead, is available to run 1:1 sessions for advanced clinical practitioners, in which they can create their own individual pathways, relevant to their role and practice goals. These will be 15-30 minutes, and GPs / Practice Managers are also welcome to book a slot, should they wish to ask any questions relating to first contact practitioners or advanced clinical practitioners.

You can contact Kerri at [email protected], by clicking here.

NEW: The Hub's FCP (MSK) Lead

On 1 May, BNSSG Training Hub welcomed Lizzie Bradshaw as our FCP (MSK) Lead! She is here to aid first contact physiotherapists in setting your objectives and keeping up-to-date on the progress of our physiotherapist projects.

She has already linked in with regional and national teams to represent Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire, and will use the community of practice as a platform to build a network with our partners in the community and social care sectors.

If you would like to get in touch with Lizzie, please contact [email protected] and he can pass you on.

interactiveCSP

The iCSP is a forum on the Charted Society of Physiotherapy’s site, which provides its members with access to a range of online physiotherapy networks.

To find out more, please click here.

Our Quality Improvement Project

Kerri Magnus has also designed a survey to establish the learning needs of all advanced clinical practitioners (even if still in training), including physiotherapists. Initially, this is aimed solely at advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs), as it is benchmarked against the core capabilities framework, but it will be rolled out to other roles in due course.

To find out more, please click here.

What educational pathways are there?

At present, there are two main educational pathways by which one can train to be a first contact or advanced physiotherapist:

  • Via an FCP portfolio and taught routes, with onward portfolio route or a taught Advanced Practice master’s to become an Advanced Practitioner
  • Via an AP portfolio or taught routes with the addition of the required primary care KSA training

The diagram below provides a visual representation of this routes.

For more information, please see HEE’s Roadmap to Practice using the collapsible box below.

A Roadmap to Practice

Produced by HEE, this document provides a roadmap of education for practice, for all first contact physiotherapists working in primary care.

To read this document, please click here.

Diagram sourced from HEE’s A Roadmap to Practice

How does the ARRS link to HEE's Roadmap?

First contact physiotherapists employed under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) no longer have a deadline of April 2022 to complete HEE’s Roadmap to Practice to enable drawing down of funding.

If you are not employed under ARRS, there is no current deadline either. Completion of the HEE Roadmap is still advised for all staff. If you wish to be on the Centre for Advancing Practice Directory, you will need to have been signed off for stages 1 & 2 of the FCP Roadmap before moving on to advanced clinical practice at stage 3.

Both stages can be completed in general practice and signed off by a verified clinical roadmap supervisor, or you can attend a taught route. You will still need to have evidence of clinical supervision by a roadmap supervisor to ensure competency, though.

For weekly updates here, please refer to HEE’s site using the button below.

Literature
A Roadmap to Practice

Produced by HEE, this document provides a roadmap of education for practice, for all first contact physiotherapists working in primary care.

To read this document, please click here.

About FCP services

Produced by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, this page answers several FAQs about the scope and function of first contact physiotherapy in primary care.

To visit this page, please click here.

BMA's 'urgent prescription for general practice'

To read the BMA’s April 2016 report on the state of general practice, click here.

HEE Clinical Supervision for FCPs / ACPs FAQs

Compiled by Kerri Magnus, this document addresses many frequently asked questions surrounding clinical supervision for first contact practitioners and advanced clinical practitioners (including first contact physiotherapists).

To read it, please click here.

HEE's easy-read

To read HEE’s easy-read guide on first contact physiotherapists, click here.

HEE's FCP / ACP Roadmap Supervision slides

Provided by HEE, this slide deck outlines the supervision process for first contact practitioners and advanced clinical practitioners.

To read it, please click here.

HEE's Implementation Guide

This document addresses capability frameworks and governance issues around introducing implementation of first contact physiotherapists.

To read it, please click here.

HEE's Workplace Supervision for Advanced Clinical Practice guide

Produced by HEE, this document is intended for employers and supervisors, to support them in delivering high-quality workplace supervision to advanced clinical practitioners in training.

To read it, please click here.

MSc AP Apprenticeship Programme

This document provides information on UWE’s apprenticeship programme for advanced clinical practitioners.

To read it, please click here.

MSK Core Capabilities Framework (CCF)

Skills for Health, Health Education England, NHS England, Public Health England, and the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) have collaborated to produce an MSK Core Capabilities Framework. This document is intended to provide a resource by which first contact physiotherapists can demonstrate and evidence how they meet the capabilities required for the role, and to assist them in identifying their specific learning needs.

To read this framework, please click here.

What MSK First Contact Physiotherapists can offer you

Produced by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, this page outlines the case for first contact physiotherapists and the benefits you can expect from employing them.

To visit this page, please click here.

A/V resources
A Roadmap to Practice webinar

Delivered by HEE and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, this webinar provided attendees with the chance to ask practical questions regarding starting a portfolio and finding support.

For more information and to watch this webinar, please click here

Introduction to First Contact Physiotherapy

Provided by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, this succinct animation considers who first contact physiotherapists are and what they can do.

To watch it, please click here.

[This video was published on 03/11/20]

An Essential Update about First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Clinical Practice in primary care

Arranged by Somerset LMC and Somerset Training Hub, this 1.5 hour webinar provides a concise, ideal look at the scope and requirements of first contact / advanced clinical practitioners (FCPs / ACPs), and at how best to provide the support, supervision, and conditions they need to thrive.

A range of individuals contributed, including our own ACP Lead, Kerri Magnus.

For more information, and to watch this webinar, please click here (do note that you will need to register).

[This webinar was held on 04/02/21]


FCPs in primary care: video series

To watch the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s video series on FCPs working in primary care, please click here.

[These videos were last reviewed on 31/01/19]

NEW: HEE FCP Roadmap Webinar

On Wednesday 24 March, HEE will be holding a webinar on their first contact practitioner (FCP) Roadmaps to Practice. This webinar will be of interest to those in MSK and paramedic roles and will specifically cover the portfolio route through, with guidance and insights into how delegates can look to build their portfolios.

A recording will be available soon on HEE’s Roadmaps Landing Page. Click here to visit this page.

Stage 1 of the First Contact Physiotherapist Roadmap

To watch this video from Sussex MSK Partnership, please click here.

[These videos were last reviewed on 09/02/21]

Additional Roles Hub

Additional Roles Hub

A landing page for information on the additional roles in primary care

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Summary pages

Universal resources

South West ARRS Workforce Summit recordings [15/10/20]

On Thursday 15 October, NHS England & NHS Improvement ran a three-session South West workforce summit to discuss and share some of the opportunities and challenges for general practice and the wider system, and to strength workforce planning linked to the introduction of the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), alongside other initiatives focused on general practice recruitment and retention.


Session 1: 09.30 to 11.30
Presenting case studies on AHPs, social prescribing link workers, health and well-being coaches, and care co-ordinators

To watch this session, click here.


Session 2: 12.00 to 14.00
Presenting case studies on clinical pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, first contact physiotherapists, and physician associates

To watch this session, click here.


Session 3: 14.30 to 16.30
Presenting cast studies on mental health practitioners, community paramedics, and nursing associates (inc. trainees)

To watch this session, click here.


Please note: you can download the full agenda for the day, with more information on what each session covered, here.

Role-specific resources

Care co-ordinators
Sample resource pack

Produced by NHSE / I, this resource pack includes:

  • Sample job description
  • Sample person specification
  • Sample job advert
  • Sample interview questions

To download it, please click here.

Dieticians
Sample JD and person specification

This sample job description and person specification has been produced by NHSE / I. To download them, please click here.

First contact physiotherapists
FCP Job Description

To download this job description template for FCPs, please click here.

HEE easy-read

To read HEE’s concise, easy-read guide about the first contact physiotherapist role, please click here.

HEE roadmap

To read HEE’s roadmap to practice for the first contact physiotherapist role, please click here.

Implementing FCPs video

To watch NHSE / I’s video on the national roll-out and implementation of FCPs, please click here.

[This video was published on 17/02/20]

Health & well-being coaches
Sample resource pack

Produced by NHSE / I, this resource pack includes:

  • Sample job description
  • Sample person specification
  • Sample job advert
  • Sample interview questions

To download it, please click here.

Nursing associates
Becoming a nursing associate video

To watch HEE’s video on becoming a nursing associate and joining the wider nursing team, please click here.

[This video was published on 08/01/20]

HEE easy-read

To read HEE’s concise, easy-read guide about the nursing associate role, please click here.

New Roles: Nursing Associate

To watch HEE’s video on the work of nursing associates and their invaluable opportunity the role provides, in the words of an nursing associate ambassador, please click here.

[This video was published on 25/10/19]

Occupational therapists
Sample JD and person specification

This sample job description and person specification has been produced by NHSE / I. To download them, please click here.

Paramedics
Sample JD and person specification

This sample job description and person specification has been produced by NHSE / I. To download them, please click here.

Pharmacy technicians
HEE easy-read

To read HEE’s concise, easy-read guide about the pharmacy technician role, please click here.

Sample recruitment pack

Produced by NHSE / I, this resource pack includes:

  • Sample job description
  • Sample person specification
  • Sample job advert

To download it, please click here.

Podiatrists
Sample JD and person specification

This sample job description and person specification has been produced by NHSE / I. To download them, please click here.

Social prescribing link workers
HEE easy-read

To read HEE’s concise, easy-read guide about the social prescribing link worker role, please click here.

Sample recruitment pack

Produced by NHSE / I, this resource pack includes:

  • Sample job description
  • Sample person specification
  • Sample job advert

To download it, please click here.

Social prescribing & the future of general practice video

To watch The King’s Fund’s video on the significance of social prescribing for general practice going forward, please click here.

[This video was published on 20/11/18, after having been recorded at The King’s Fund’s Social Prescribing: Coming of Age event]

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