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Resuscitation Council (UK) (RC (UK)) response:

About the Resuscitation Council (UK):

Established in 1983, the Resuscitation Council (UK) (RC (UK)) is a UK-wide charity whose purpose is to save lives through effective, appropriate
resuscitation.  Saving lives underpins and runs through all our activities. 

We achieve this by: 

  • Developing high-quality, scientific guidelines,
    standards and educational materials for resuscitation
  • Influencing resuscitation policy and practice by
    improving and maintaining standards
  • Supporting research into resuscitation
  • Building the resuscitation community to foster
    good working relations between all involved in resuscitation

The Resuscitation Council (UK) is the recognised body that provides the training material and structure for a wide variety of life support courses for healthcare professionals in the UK.  Our courses mean we see a large number of the clinical workforce come through our doors, and we see many of the same issues
time and again.  In this response we will be focusing on retention, rather than supply or recruitment, as this is the issue which our expertise relates to best. 

Employers should take an active role in the professional development of their staff.  Staff development is vital, as is clearly
valuing staff contributions both within and beyond their normal clinical and management roles.  In addition, the following factors are also important:

  • encouraging
    a workplace that values training and expertise for all
  • the availability and ease of access of training for staff development
  • support for candidates with time for study and course attendance
  • valuing nationally recognised instructors by allowing time away from the clinical area
    to instruct on national courses. 

All healthcare and allied professionals need time to
apply and share the skills obtained from CPD. 
Training new professional groups, such as Nursing and Physician
Associates would certainly allow skill mix changes and allow staff to work at the top of their professional competence. 
For example, RC (UK) Advanced Life Support (ALS) courses reflect the reality that nurses and paramedics work on an equal level to doctors, as members and leaders of the arrest team. 

Allowing time to train is also a key factor and all staff, particularly course instructors, should be supported by their employers to take time out from their usual work for training.  This is in line with the letter sent
in June 2017 by the GMC, NHS England and the Chief Medical Officers of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales that calls for employers to look favourably upon those applying for leave to undertake such work:

The part time work these people
undertake alongside their clinical duties contributes a great deal to the quality and safety of patient care, medical education and to the planning, delivery and independent assurance of the safety and effectiveness of both
local and regional health services.

We understand that in the current climate there is considerable pressure on local resources
and that you will need to take account of that and ensure that contractual commitments are applied appropriately. However we hope you will regard such
activity by your clinical staff as an investment in our Health Services and a reflection of the high standards in your organisation. The experience gained by these individuals should be of direct benefit to the unit in which they work.”

(Please see https://www.resus.org.uk/media/statements/release-for-work-nhs/ for further information). 

Training in resuscitation requires experienced instructors, who are available and trained to teach, supervise and assess the practical training necessary to equip staff
with the skills essential to manage these patients.  RC (UK) instructors have this training to teach on these courses, but as many struggle to obtain leave to teach, much of this work is done in their own time, and without remuneration.  This is inappropriate, as NHS patients and organisations are the beneficiaries of the instructors’ skills and experience.  To improve this further, the RC (UK) suggests that the same ring-fenced time that is given to doctors for
learning and CPD should also be given to all other relevant professional groups, such as nurses, midwives, paramedics, health care assistants and allied
health professionals, including Nursing and Physician Associates.

This lack of ring-fenced time fails to address the present inequality between professional groups regarding access to education. 

Nurses, for instance, do not get protected time (or funding) for
CPD.  This is a major barrier to
effective multi-professional training, and may be a factor contributing to nurses leaving the profession. 
Delivering equality in the workforce across different groups of healthcare professionals will help staff work across organisations better.  Providing education to all professions equally would also
improve self-worth and professional engagement of all staff, staff retention,
and ultimately improve patient safety and care. 
Training staff together in multi-professional groups (as occurs on RC (UK) courses in advanced life support in adult, paediatric and newborn resuscitation) will also develop strong teamwork skills needed to promote
improved patient outcomes. 

To effectively train, educate and invest in the new and current workforce, setting training
standards at curricula level is important, as is the use of quality standards (benchmarking) to ensure that training standards are maintained.  We have
developed ‘Quality standards for cardiopulmonary resuscitation practice and training’ for healthcare organisations to follow to provide a high-quality
resuscitation service
across the different settings where clinical care is provided.  Please see RC (UK) Quality Standards for resuscitation training for further information: https://www.resus.org.uk/quality-standards/. 

Adam DHSC 5 months ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

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