Skills for Health has published a unique report, “Higher Apprenticeships in the South West”, exploring the contribution the Higher Apprenticeship Framework has had on the development of the “semi-autonomous worker” or Assistant Practitioner (AP) role. The research outlines the positive impact the AP role has had on career opportunities for the healthcare support workforce, as well as strong examples of the role being deployed and its contribution to improving both efficiency and patient care.
The report finds evidence that the Level 4 education route (such as higher apprenticeship frameworks and foundation degrees), combined with classroom training and on-the-job training, is helping to develop the semi-autonomous workforce that employers need. Interestingly,
Ian Wheeler, Head of Research, LMI and Evaluation at Skills for Health comments, “Staffing is the single largest item on the health sector’s balance sheet and as such, one of the greatest conundrums for this sector is how people can be developed and utilised to help meet the demand to deliver more high quality care for less. A key feature of this debate is how to make better use of the pool of highly motivated and loyal “non-registered” support workers.