By Ruth Allarton
As you will be aware, HEE is driving forward a project to increase AHP placement capacity. This is both in response to the People Plan which requires growth in AHP numbers and to manage the backlog which has developed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project has included a crowdsourcing event using online workshop methodology. Over the two weeks that the workshop ran over 1800 people engaged with the process making 8500.
Six themes have been identified from the work:
- Diversity of placement – location supervision and timing
- Improved process of co-ordinating placement allocation
- A more joined up system including approach to paperwork and communication
- Resigning the approach of education and placement models– focus on purpose and structure
- Educator capacity – both ring fenced time with students and number of people supporting students
- Placement Culture and attitude – seeing students as part of the team and nett contributors
Next steps are being developed in response to themes and will influence the direction of travel for the project.
£6.8m has been invested in a variety of AHP placement expansion projects to support the growth in numbers. Over the next few months, we will be sharing learning from the projects as it emerges to maximise the impact of the investment. Many of the bids included using technology or simulation. Technology Enhanced Care Placements (TECS) are growing in number where services are now being delivered using remote/virtual means and students are being involved in the delivery of these services. It is important that students can experience these new models of service delivery and may have valuable insights into how they could be developed. There is an added advantage to being involved in this type of service delivery in that students can access this from wherever they are even if they are self isolating.
Several HEIs are delivering placements using simulation. Early feedback suggests that this can be as valuable in building skills and confidence as placements, potentially due to being able to manage consistency of student experience. More evidence will be gathered as the project progresses. This has also led to early discussions about placement tariff and how it is distributed.
The HCPC, professional bodies and the CoDH are fully engaged in supporting this project. Most recently the HCPC has shared blogs in support of both TECS and simulation models of delivery.
One of the early outputs of the project is a placement learning exchange housed on the Future NHS platform. This aims to gather useful resources and case studies. Please upload any case studies or resources that you have.
21st century practitioners need to have rounded experience so a much wider range of experiences is being opened to students including leadership opportunities with professional bodies, PHE and HEE to name but a few. We have recently published this employability roadmap We have recently published this employability roadmap promoting this concept.
We now have some great examples of students undertaking placements in HEIs both as lecturers and researchers, both brilliant additions to the placement circuit. It would be great to see this growing if we are serious about clinical academic careers. The support from the CoDH has been pivotal in shaping this work and we hope that HEIs will continue to actively engage with us as the project progresses. Thank you for the invaluable work that you are doing to keep our students progressing with their studies, it has taken a mammoth amount of work and dedication.