Recommendation 237

Effective teamwork to care for elderly patients

Accepted
There needs to be effective teamwork between all the different disciplines and services that together provide the collective care often required by an elderly patient; the contribution of cleaners, maintenance staff, and catering staff also needs to be recognised and valued.

All staff should recognise that they impact on patient experience and take responsibility for their contribution to patients having a positive experience of care. Research commissioned by the Department of Health has shown that effective teamwork is crucial to the delivery of improved patient care in a culture of safety and quality.

As part of its Mandate for 2013-2015, the government has asked Health Education England to implement improvements to GP training to include more emphasis on care of the elderly; work-based training modules in mental health, including dementia; and an understanding of working in multi-disciplinary teams to deliver good integrated care.

Camilla Cavendish’s review raised the need to improve recruitment, training, development and supervision of health and social care support workers. The government has asked Health Education England to lead the work with Skills Councils, and other delivery partners to develop a ‘Certificate of Fundamental Care’, relabelled as the ‘Care Certificate’. This will provide assurance that healthcare assistants and social care support workers receive high quality training and consistent training and support they need to do their jobs. This should ensure that they understand the skills required and demonstrate the behaviours needed to deliver compassionate care  across health and social care and help raise the status of caring.

Further delivery is for local consideration and action – the inquiry made clear that trusts and other organisations do not need to wait for a government response before taking local action. However, the Department of Health has asked NHS Employers to collate some of the resources available to employers to support team development and effective team working, and to create a web page with links to these resources.  This will be made available to employers by the end of 2013.

Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust have ensured all their staff are dementia-trained, with the level of training varying from basic awareness to specialised dementia care training. Non clinical staff, such as receptionists, porters and catering staff are all trained to spot the signs of dementia and respond appropriately to people with the condition.

Update

Health Education England are taking forward current mandate commitments on General Practice Training, including more emphasis on care of the elderly and work-based training modules in mental health, including dementia  as part of many other work-streams including Shape of Training and Mental Health.

The Care Certificate is being piloted with a view to rolling out across England. This aims to improve the status and quality of caring in all settings. The Care Certificate will be a means of providing assurance that healthcare assistants and social care support workers receive the high quality and consistent training and support they need to do their jobs. This should ensure that they understand the skills required and demonstrate the behaviours needed to deliver compassionate care across health and social care and help raise the status of caring.

Dementia awareness training is being rolled out across England for all healthcare staff with more in-depth training for expert leaders and all staff working with people living with dementia.

Health Education England will contribute to the Department of Health/NHS England Transforming Primary Care initiative that includes a focus on ensuring General Practice training provides support to specific groups including care of older people.

Health Education England has developed a draft set of standards in conjunction with Skills for Health, Skills for Care and other delivery partners. These were piloted across a number of health and care providers during summer 2014. Subject to evaluation, the Certificate will be introduced for new care assistants from March 2015.