As has been asserted on many occasions over the last few years, following the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic, we are living in unprecedented times.

The crisis took its toll on us all, but it was the frontline healthcare workers who perhaps faced the greatest pressures, with the already stressed sector straining under the weight of such sudden, heightened and prolonged demand for services.

Lessons have been learned since March 2020 and, since then, employers throughout the NHS and the healthcare sector, have prioritised the development of new apprenticeship standards for various healthcare roles, helping organisations find the skilled staff members they need so they are better equipped to handle future challenges.

Apprenticeships and training opportunities for frontline staff appear to be of increasing interest to healthcare organisations. New pathways are now being created to encourage careers in the industry… so much so, in fact, that such organisations now pay more than £200 million in apprenticeship levy contributions each year.

Recruiting and retaining talent

Developing leadership roles within a healthcare setting can be valuable for many reasons. In recruitment, ensuring that new or inexperienced staff members are led by effective, highly skilled, and experienced managers and leaders is attractive to incoming candidates.

Staff retention has also been problematic in the healthcare sector following the pandemic and this has been putting severe pressure on staffing numbers. Providing quality training opportunities can help attract and retain staff, which will strengthen the quality of care provided and improve workforce resilience, so future crises can be managed effectively.

Managers equipped with the skills to lead through the vision and values of an organisation can help boost morale of employee and employer alike, building more communicative relationships so they are better able to adapt to challenges in the future.

The level 5 coaching standard apprenticeship, for example, can help improve listening and communication skills, boost relationship management, increase self-awareness and improve resilience. This will deliver a range of workplace benefits, supporting teams and managers, and ensuring that they both reach their potential.

Many healthcare professionals see training as an investment in their career development – and offering this as standard demonstrates how valued team members are by their employers.

As was evidenced by the pandemic, population health outcomes are directly affected by the resilience, experience and skills of frontline workers and other healthcare professionals… which is why it’s essential that employers develop strategies that foster the skills necessary for success.

Here at Richmond, we work in collaboration with organisations to help them strengthen their workforce planning and development, ensuring that they’re better able to make sense of constantly evolving landscapes and working environments, and building robust and resilient approaches to the development of workforce skills.

This, in turn, is sure to deliver positive results for patient care in the future.

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