Health CommitteeWritten evidence from Skills for Care (ETWP 42)

About Skills for Care

Skills for Care is a partner in the Sector Skills Council—Skills for Care and Development. The other partners in Skills for Care and Development are: Children’s Workforce Development Council, General Social Care Council, Scottish Social Services Council, Northern Ireland Social Care Council, and Care Council for Wales. Skills for Care and Development is the sector skills council for people providing social work, social care and children’s services across the UK. Skills for Care holds the licence with the UK Commission for Education and Skills on behalf of the Sector Skills Council.

In the UK, social care is devolved across the four nations and unlike Skills for Health, Skills for Care only operates in England. Skills for Care is active in collaborating with our partners in the devolved administrations and allied sectors wherever possible. Skills for Care’s ambition is to ensure that England’s adult social care workforce has the appropriately skilled people in the right places working to deliver high quality social care. To achieve this, we focus on the attitudes, values, skills and qualifications people need to undertake their roles.

We work closely with more than 48,000 establishments (81% are in the independent sector—2009) that employ adult social care workers, together with people who use services, including direct employers employing their own Personal Assistants, carers and other key partners to develop effective tools and resources that meet the workforce development needs of the sector. In 2010, the number of jobs in adult social care in England was estimated at 1.77 million. The actual number of people doing these jobs was estimated at 1.56 million.

Executive Summary of Submission

Skills for Care is working with a range of health partners to support greater integration of health and social care workforce development & planning to support the broader ambition of greater integration of social care and health provision. This principally involves working collaboratively on initiatives around joint standards, training, qualification development and workforce planning data with a focus on delivering quality, productivity and innovation.

Skills for Care welcomes the increasing public and political general interest in social care and the increasing drive to integrate social and health care around the needs of people who use services and carers. However, we believe that adult social care has far greater potential to contribute towards the greater integration of health and social care workforce development and planning than has so far been realised. This situation is reflected in the current share of resource allocation and opportunity to be heard.

We look forward to continuing to working alongside our health partners and our key stakeholders—employers to explore new and innovative ways of working together to achieve improved outcomes for communities, care users, their families and for carers.

Introduction

Skills for Care’s role is to ensure that England’s adult social care workforce has the appropriately skilled people in the right places working to deliver high quality social care.

As social care faces the challenge of increasing both the quantity and quality of the social care workforce, it is imperative the investment in workforce development is prioritised to ensure that we attract a larger workforce which is skilled, flexible and professional. Our contribution to meeting this challenge is to:

support investment in the right mix of skills to create a sustainable workforce;

demonstrate the impact of qualifications on creating a quality service that meets the needs of people who use services;

provide robust workforce intelligence on the sector and evidence for modelling demand for the future workforce; and

support range and diversity in service delivery through evidence based research on new roles and ways of working.

We are working with employers towards a skilled and qualified workforce that is flexible and supported to deliver high quality services. Leaders, managers and commissioners in the sector will have strategic workforce information and intelligence, linked through practical tools to map out nationally and locally “supply and demand” of social care services.

Increasingly this includes exploring the ways in which we can promote greater integration between health and social care. To achieve this we are working on a number of initiatives with a range of health partners.

1. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

Skills for Care is working alongside the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on a number of work streams in support of the greater integration of social care and health workforce and practice development.

1.1Quality Standards Development—We are working with NICE on developing the new “Quality Standards”, including chairing one of the first social care quality standards topic working groups—Professor David Croisdale-Appleby, Chair of Skills for Care. has been appointed as Chair for the Care of people with dementia Topic Expert Group.

1.2Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP)—Skills for Care is acting as an external reviewer of social care submissions to the QIPP.

1.3NHS Evidence & QIPP—Skills for Care is an active member of the quality & productivity working group which is reviewing NHS Evidence and the QIPP criteria & assessment processes. A significant part of our role is ensuring that the QIPP will be meet the needs of social care when in 2012 it is formally extended to include social care & public health.

2. Department of Health

Skills for Care continues to work closely with colleagues from the Department of Health on a variety of activities that include developing options that supports the greater integration of health and social care.

2.1Social Care White Paper Team—seconded Skills for Care representative to join the Adult Social Care Workforce Team leading on engagement and policy development in relation to the workforce options for the new Care and Support White Paper.

2.2Social Care Quality and Workforce—membership of the Care and Support White Paper engagement group for quality and workforce, exploring the ways in which the adult social care workforce development can drive quality improvement.

2.3Developing Key Priorities for the Future—alongside membership of the quality and workforce engagement group, Skills for Care is working with the Department of Health to develop new key priorities for future workforce development that will promote quality improvement. This may include exploring options for joint workforce development across the health and social care commissioning workforce.

2.4Local Education & Training Boards and Health Education England—Skills for Care is working in partnership with the relevant bodies to explore the opportunities arising from the development of the Educational Outcomes Framework and the new arrangements round Local Education & Training Boards (LETB), Health Education England (HEE) and local commissioning to support greater integration of workforce development across health and social care. Skills for Care have held an initial workshop attended by colleagues from DH (including HEE leads), Local Authorities, a Strategic Health Authority and a care alliance exploring how adult social care is integrated from the outset of the new HEE & LETB workforce arrangements.

2.5State of the Adult Social Care Workforce in England—continue to publish regular reports on the state of the adult social care workforce in England. Skills for Care also publish an annual Report on the Size and Structure of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England and provide quarterly reports to DH.

3. Skills for Health

Skills for Care is jointly working with Skills for Health in a number of areas as well as exploring new opportunities for further partnership working to support integrated educational outcomes.

3.1Standards, Qualifications and Apprenticeships—Skills for Care and Skills for Health work together in close collaboration where there are areas of common interest across the sectors. Together we develop standards such as National Occupational Standards and Core Principles for the social care and health workforce. We also work together to develop units and qualifications within the Qualification and Credit Framework that can be used by the social care and health workforces. Skills for Care and Skills for Health also share a joint Health and Social Care Apprenticeship framework.

3.2Closer Integration of Skills for Health and Skills for Care—Skills for Health and Skills for Care are actively exploring the options for greater integrated working. It has been proposed that joint efforts should be focused on encouraging mass adoption of successful pilots to date, rather then re-producing more pilot sites. The basic approach will be:

Assess the outcomes of pilots undertaken to date and identify those pilots that have the greatest potential for impact and replication.

Develop joint health and social care networks to share outcomes, provide active support and operate as learning sets.

Develop benchmark data and evaluate results for wider dissemination.

3.3Promoting Integration of Health & Social Care—we are developing a paper that explores our options for promoting greater integrated working. This paper sets out three priority areas for shared working between Skills for Care and Skills for Health. These priority areas are proposed following extensive board and director level discussions between Skills for Care and Skills for Health. The priority areas are:

Preventing avoidable Hospital Admission.

Transitions to Nursing Care.

Reablement and timely hospital discharge.

These areas recognise that assistive technology and integrated care & support are important to each proposal and form part of the underlying thinking. The purpose of these proposals is to identify areas of work whereby Skills for Health and Skills for Care can support a step-change in integrated working across health and social care. Both organisations believe that closer integrated working will:

Provide substantial benefits to the individual client/patient through more streamlined services with fewer hand-overs, and by ensuring that the care provided better meets the individual’s needs.

Utilise scarce resources more effectively by reducing/delaying hospital admissions and accelerating appropriate hospital discharge.

3.4Joint healthcare support workers and adult social care workers code of conduct & standards—Skills for Care and Skills for Health have been commissioned by DH to develop a code of conduct and minimum standards for education for healthcare support workers and adult social care workers working in support of health and social care professionals, independently, for Care Quality Commission registered residential care providers, or as domiciliary care workers in England. Working with a range of partners SfC & SfH will develop a framework that will ensure that workers are supported in delivering safe and effective care.

4. Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI) and the Information Centre for Health & Social Care

Skills for Care is an essential major partner in the work of the Centre for Workforce Intelligence both as a major supplier of data on the adult social care sector in England and as a collaborator on moving towards a more integrated approach to joint health and social care workforce planning.

4.1Adult Social Care Workforce (England) Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) & Workforce Intelligence—supporting the CfWI by collecting LMI and workforce data using the National Minimum Data Set—Social Care (NMDS-SC). Skills for Care also now collect workforce data from local authorities on behalf of the Information Centre for Health & Social Care through NMDS-SC.

4.2Future workforce demand forecasting & workforce planning tools—continuing to refine the Skills for Care model on workforce estimates to project the future demand for the adult social care workforce in England. These estimates have made a significant contribution to workforce planning across the health and social care system. CfWI is building on the work undertaken for the Social Work Reform Board to develop a supply and demand model for social workers based on NMDS-SC data returns from local authorities. CfWI is modelling the larger social care workforce and data from the NMDS-SC is making a significant contribution to understanding the workforce challenges across health and social care.

4.3Workforce Modelling—as partners of CfWI we made a significant contribution to The Workforce Risks and Opportunities in Adult Social Care report which sets out the major issues facing the social care workforce. We continue to explore with CfWI options for greater integration of health and social care workforce modelling.

4.4Education Commissioning—We are contributing to the CfWI Workforce Risks and Opportunities Project Reference Group—this project is producing Education Commissioning Risk summaries.

5. Social Work Reform

Skills for Care is working in partnership with the Social Work Reform Board contributing to the development of products and supporting the reform of the social work profession.

5.1Assessed and Supported Year in Employment—We are developing, in partnership with the Childrens Workforce Development Council, the proposals for the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment.

5.2Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF)—We have played a significant role in the development of the Professional Capabilities Framwork (PCF) for social workers.

5.3Continuing Professional Development and the reform of social work education—We are working in partnership with the College of Social Work who have recently taken responsibility from the SWRB for taking forward the PCF, proposals for Continuing Professional Development and the reform of social work education, and proposals for partnership working.

5.4Standards for Employers and Supervision Framework—We are working in partnership with Local Government Employers (LGE) to ensure that the Standards for Employers and Supervision Framework are available to all employers.

6. Workforce Development for Assistive Technology, Telecare & Telehealth

The emerging evidence from the Whole System Demonstrator (WSD) evaluation funded by the Department of Health (DH) suggests that, if used correctly, telehealth can deliver reductions in A&E visits, emergency admissions, elective admissions, bed days and tariff costs. On the basis of this evidence, DH has made a commitment to accelerate the use of telehealth and telecare technologies. A vital factor in successful delivery of telecare and telehealth is workforce confidence and skills to engage with available technology to its maximum potential.

In light of this, Skills for Care intends to build upon its recent small-scale research, which scoped the current landscape of workforce development for assistive technology, telecare and telehealth, to determine what more can be done in supporting integrated social care and health workforce development in this field. This work will be taken forward in discussion with Skills for Health, DH Long Term Conditions Team and representatives from training agencies, commercial partners, commissioners, academic and front line social care staff.

7. Other areas where SfC might be able to impact

In addition to the above, Skills for Care with appropriate support, can help to progress further integration in relation to:

7.1Integrated Career Pathways—Developing more integrated Career Pathways across health and social care supported by integrated Education Outcomes Framework rather than an NHS only EOF.

7.2Commissioning Workforce—Explore the options to support joint workforce development across the health and social care commissioning workforces.

7.3Professional Capabilities Framework & NHS Educational Outcomes Framework (EOF)—Mapping the social work Professional Capabilities Framework to the NHS EOF and exploring how it might support cross health and social care career pathways, as well as exploring how it might be developed and extended to the wider social care workforce.

December 2011

Prepared 22nd May 2012