There has been a lot happening in health and social care over the past year and it is hard to keep up with all the changes. As part of your responsibilities as a health and social care worker in whatever role or setting you work, you are required to actively continue your professional development. That means keeping up-to-date with changes in legislation; policy, practice and innovation that will impact on health and social care. All of which sounds easy in theory but more challenging in practice.
One really good way of keeping-up-to-date is by registering for email updates with lead organisations within the sector. For example, Skills for Health; Skills for Care; Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE); The National Skills Academy for Health or The National Skills Academy for Social Care.
Being prepared for future changes is a smart move and it will help you plan your professional development so you can be ready for those changes and even be one step ahead of others. Currently, for example, you can look at the structure of the proposed Care Certificate for health and social care workers on the Skills for Health or Skills for Care websites that has been developed as a result of the Cavendish Report (see my blog August 2013). To do this go to either http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/service-area/care-certificate/ or http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Standards/Care-Certificate/Care-Certificate.aspx
Accessing lead sector organisation websites can also enable you to actively participate in changes affecting the sector. The National Skills Academy for Health (http://www.nsahealth.org.uk/ ) will not only enable you to access a range of e-learning opportunities but you can currently participate in a survey to help them develop a Dementia Toolkit for healthcare workers. Go to http://www.nsahealth.org.uk/home16
If you are working in a specialist area or with people with particular needs then websites related to these will also be a good source of information.
Setting aside time each month and planning what you want to focus on each time is also one way to keep-up-to-date as well as managing your time effectively. SCIE has a number of useful areas on their website including Social Care TV which has short videos on key practice development areas.
Here are some websites you might like to take a look at
Skills for Health – http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/
Skills for Care – http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Home.aspx
SCIE – http://www.scie.org.uk/
NICE – http://www.nice.org.uk/
Here are some new developments and resources you might find useful to get you kick started:
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a guideline for those involved in handling, prescribing, commissioning and decision-making about medicines in care homes.
Skills for Care have developed an app version of Skills Selector product (see www.skillsforcare.org.uk/qualifications_and_training/SkillSelector/SkillSelector.aspx). Skills Selector is an interactive tool for building adult social care qualifications and identifying learning opportunities that are right for a care organisation. The app gives mobile access to this tool and will be useful in contexts such as supervision etc. Download the app from the Google Play Store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.activepixels.skillselector
Common core principles to support good mental health and wellbeing in adult social care and worker’s implementation guide – Skills for Care estimate that 4–500,000 social care workers have regular contact with people who have a mental health problem. It is important that staff working in social care services know how to support and promote good mental health and overall wellbeing for everyone who uses those services:
Skills for Care and Skills for Health have released new guidance to minimise the use of restrictive practices in social care and health. The easy-to-use guide was developed in partnership with people with care, health and support needs, family carers, employers, commissioners and learning providers as part of the suite of guidance to support the introduction of ‘Positive and Safe’, the Department of Health’s two-year programme.
By implementing learning and development that empowers workers to support people differently, this guidance can make a valuable contribution to ending the use of out-dated and damaging restrictive practices, including physical restraint, within health and care services. To download a copy of the new guidance please visit http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Skills/Restrictive-practices/Restrictive-practices.aspx
Don’t forget when updating your Continuing Professional Development record to write a brief summary of what you’ve learnt, how you plan to use this in practice and how you will review any changes you make to your practice as a result of your learning. You will also find it useful to record the website address and the date you accessed the website so that you can locate it again when you share what you have learnt with colleagues or when referencing the information in an assignment or a report.
So until next time….