My Health, My Care, My Home - healthcare framework for adults living in care homes: summary

Framework providing a series of recommendations that aims to transform the healthcare for people living in care homes.

7. A Sustainable and Skilled Workforce

The vision of this framework - that the health and wellbeing needs of people living in care homes are met so that they can live their best life - will only be fully achieved by a sustainable and skilled workforce.

The care home workforce demonstrate care, compassion, professionalism, and a broad range of skills in working with people living in care homes, their families, and the multi-disciplinary team to deliver personalised, relationship-based services which not only keep people safe, but also preserve their identity and promote their independence.

There is a need to look at recruitment of workforce and career opportunities around it, including the implementation of training. Placing a focus more on values than experience when recruiting may assist to grow, nurture and sustain the workforce. Exploring opportunities for people leaving school and ways we can link in with schools and the school curriculum, as well as advertising such opportunities, also need to be considered.

The health and wellbeing of those working in care homes is of equal importance to that of those living in care homes. The needs of staff should be addressed and they should feel supported as they deal with difficult and traumatic experiences. There is also the need to strengthen the healthcare workforce. GPs, Community Nurses and Primary Care teams are under considerable pressure to meet the increasing demand that is associated with the ageing Scottish population.

The Health and Social Care: National Workforce Strategy makes clear the need to grow the workforce. The Five Pillars of Workforce: Plan, Attract, Train, Employ and Nurture, are key to the Strategy, and to how the vision of a 'sustainable and skilled workforce with attractive career choices where all are respected and valued for the work they do can be achieved'.

The SSSC' s Workforce Skills report (2021) highlights that over 90% of care home managers felt existing qualifications are fit for purpose. But, 72% believed new skills needs will develop over the next five years that existing qualifications won't address.

Good induction training is essential to prepare all members of the care home team for their duties and help them to immediately feel valued and supported in their role, which in turn may lead to better staff retention. The SSSC and NES have worked in partnership with Scottish Government and employers to deliver an National Induction Framework for adult social care.

Currently, much of the training takes place online and there is a desire from those we spoke to whilst developing the framework to introduce more practical support tools, with education and training that is meaningful, consistent, and fit for purpose, to better equip staff and empower them to feel confident in doing their job.

Many areas have successfully developed a HSCP based 'Care Home Liaison Service'. This is a multi-disciplinary team who work alongside the care home team to build competence and confidence in meeting the needs of the people living in the home. Evidence from the OPTIMAL study shows that when training includes all members of the care home team (e.g. catering, care and domiciliary team members) there is more likely to be organisational engagement and sustained improvements. This may not always be appropriate as there will be different levels of training required for different roles, where possible this should be encouraged.


7.1 Seek to improve the timeous availability of workforce data to support robust workforce planning, recruitment and retention in line with requirements of The Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act 2019,

7.2 Invest in the development of care home managers and consider access to enhanced leadership training, mentoring and leadership networks.

7.3 Plan and ensure clinical and professional leadership through the provision of registered nurses as key members of the care home team.

7.4 Explore opportunities for recruitment within the community, by placing a greater emphasis on values rather than experience.

7.5 Organisations should take steps to ensure the emotional wellbeing of their staff, and provide access to support and signposting to the range of resources currently available to them.

7.6 Ensure workforce plans include dedicated time for staff to undertake recommended and required education and training.

7.7 Explore opportunities for career and development pathways for support workers, ensuring consistency and transferability of skills and knowledge across the sector.

7.8 When complete, implement the Induction Framework, developed by NES, SSSC & Scottish Government, across the sector in a 'Once for Scotland' approach.

7.9 Identify the mandatory and core elements of training for care staff to ensure the essential knowledge and practical skills are readily available for use in the care home.

7.10 Have meaningful and consistent education and training that is fit for purpose, includes more practical support tools, and is supplemented by online training.

7.11 'Care Home Liaison Service' models should be explored, whereby multi-disciplinary teams work alongside the care home team to build competence and confidence in meeting the needs of the people living in the home.

7.12 Explore opportunities to develop and introduce a one-stop repository for tools and resources, that everyone can access and that will highlight and share good practice already happening for others to draw from.

7.13 Encourage interdisciplinary multi-sector learning and development to develop the skills required to support people living in care homes



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