A Strategy Road Map for the ‘Workforce for Prevention’ programme in North Central London
The North Central London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (NCL STP) Workforce for Prevention workstream aims to increase the numbers of referrals into preventative services via ‘brief advice’ and signposting. This will ensure residents are appropriately directed to services that might benefit them, including lifestyle interventions and those addressing the social determinants of health e.g. debt, employment, housing.
Additionally, residents with mental health issues, including dementia, will be identified more quickly and guided towards the right support service to address their needs.
The vision was to up-scale existing training for frontline health & social care workforce. Three training programmes were identified as essential enablers: Making Every Contact Count, Mental Health First Aid and Dementia Awareness. Healthy Dialogues were tasked with building a shared vision and strategy for across the sub-region and identify and mobilise existing resources.
The key tool for this work was engagement. The NCL STP is supported by six local authorities, six CCGs and twelve hospitals and NHS trusts. Healthy Dialogues utilised existing engagement channels and networking to identify key leads within each of the providers and leverage time with these leads to conduct a needs assessment and discuss strategy.
We conducted interviews with the leads of each of the prevention or training leads across NCL to ascertain the following:
- What they are currently delivering
- Their current and future resources
- Their current and future plans/priorities
- Joint working and opportunities/barriers around future joint working
Healthy Dialogues studied the three programmes to evaluate the effectiveness of the current measures in place for the NCL boroughs including Camden, Islington, Barnet, Enfield, Haringey. The services were benchmarked for the 5 councils and standards have been recommended. Funding and collaboration opportunities within the boroughs were identified and actions have been recommended in the strategic plan to address these.
Within MECC training provided in the councils, there are further prospects to seek high-level buy-in, utilise free or low-cost training options such as online courses and align MECC with other prevention programmes.
The work culminated in a comprehensive strategy for NCL STP to upskill its workforce using a combined package of free resources and making the best economical use of paid resources. We developed an NCL-wide plan to deliver an evaluation of outputs and impact. The strategy was quickly mobilised in 2018.