The Centre for Health and Social Studies


21 / 01 / 2009

It aims to support care workers to make a successful transition between the care sectors through adapting their existing knowledge and skills for a new care environment.

  • SHA region
  • The organisation
  • What we did and why
  • How we did it
  • The results and next steps
  • Contact details and further information
  • SHA region

    NHS Yorkshire and The Humber

    The organisation

    The Centre for Health and Social Studies and Service Development is a recently established unit within the University of Sheffield School of Nursing and Midwifery.

    The Centre has a specific remit to provide education, training and consultancy services to the health and social care sectors in support of workforce and organisational development.

    What we did and why

    The programme has been developed for:

    • Nurses, midwives, members of Allied Health Care Professions and support workers who are making the transition from working in the secondary care sector into the primary/community care sector
    • Newly qualified practitioners seeking employment in primary care, or who have recently been employed in primary care

    The programme is a taught module comprising 18 study days, delivered over six months, that incorporates eight taught days, five days supervised learning in clinical settings, and five days of associated study relevant to the practitioners clinical role and environment. The delivery framework is flexible enough to accommodate existing preceptorship and orientation programmes and flexible working patterns.

    How we did it

    The course content has been developed with reference to Agenda for Change and the core dimensions of the Knowledge and Skills Framework. This gives students a framework that:

    • applies their existing knowledge and skills appropriately to the level of responsibility required for their roles
    • offers clear and consistent development objectives that support employment and career progression

    Context Overview

    The context of primary care

    The development and shape of primary health and social care services; socio-political aspects of health; the community care infrastructure; home and community as a unique setting; the context of health education and health promotion in primary care

    Relationships with clients and others

    Professional relationships with clients and others; equality; diversity; vulnerability; ethical contexts of care; geographical profiling; communication - referrals, record keeping and IT; outreach and intermediate care services and admission avoidance strategies, personal organisation of care; practitioner support systems

    The professional role within primary care

    Partnerships with new providers; social care services and statutory and non-statutory agencies; leadership, team working and networking; decision making; professional and legal boundaries; risk, quality, governance and accountability; quality and outcomes framework; commissioning and procurement skills; managing change.

    The results and next steps

    At the end of the course students will:

    • Understand the organisational context in which they work, including financial and commissioning responsibilities and service provider relationships
    • Adapt and extend their skills and knowledge to meet the challenges of meeting the care needs of people in the social and community environment
    • Critically reflect on their own skills and knowledge base and identify how they can maintain standards and articulate how their contribution impacts on health care within the clinical environment
    • Appreciate the legal and ethical boundaries of working in primary care
    • Appreciate the relationships between the primary and secondary health care sectors and the social, independent and voluntary care sectors, for the provision of integrated care services and the effective use of resources
    • Understand the concepts of client choice, empowerment and advocacy within the context of current primary health care policy and within their own practice area
    • Understand both social and health community intervention strategies in primary care and how these can be used to build networks to work with individuals, communities and multi-agency teams to produce effective health outcomes

    Why develop the course?

    The population of the UK is changing with the number of older people increasing and recognition that health and social care services will have to adapt and change to meet their future needs. Current health and social care policy supports a change in the provision of services and care from a hospital based treatment / intervention service towards community based services that emphasise health maintenance and the management of the patient/client within the home and community setting. 'Our Health, Our Care, Our Community: A New Direction for Community Services' (Department of Health, 2006) clearly sets out this intention, with achievement linked to an incremental shift in resources from the secondary care sector into primary care and the community.

    The percentage of older people living in South Yorkshire is predicted to rise by an average of 3.5 % over the next 15 years, representing 21% of the population by 2025. (POPPI. 2007) The transfer of resources from secondary to primary care poses significant challenges to those engaged in providing direct care and support. They will need to be able to work across care settings and boundaries in support of a health reform agenda seeking to provide integrated services that promote independence and healthy aging across a continuum of self and supported care, as well as promoting healthy living and disease prevention in the wider population.

    From Hospital to Home (NHS Employers 2006) also recognised a growing need for nurses, allied health professionals and other care workers to be prepared and enabled to transfer their skills to the home and community setting. It also requires them to apply these skills successfully within and between health, social care, independent and voluntary organisations that make up community based provision.

    Contact details and further information

    For more details contact Kath Hinchliff, Head of Education Commissioning at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber on 0113 2952041 or email

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