Non-clinical staff members may be a better position than the GP to ‘make every contact count’, said Buttercups professional services pharmacist Paul Johnson.
Explaining his comment, Mr Johnson said: “They may have a different type of relationship with patients have benefits of frequent contact with patients, no fixed agenda, a relationship of equals, time, and may already be involved with health promotion displays.”
In a DDA 2017 annual conference presentation on the subject of ‘Expect the unexpected: a different approach to staff training’, he said that many staff may seem content at their current level of training and are not interested in progressing further. But, he warned: “It is not necessarily enough to leave them where they are. Good leadership is about making people feel valued,” he said.
For GPs, a benefit of ongoing training is improved retention of staff while for the NHS it offers additional capacity to resolve health inequalities. “Don’t do more work, but work differently,” he said, outlining supporting courses such as the level 2 award in understanding health improvement, or the certificate in managing minor ailments for non-clinical staff.
Potential roles for non-clinical staff may include: identification of local health priorities, provide opportunistic brief advice, signposting, behaviour change, and targeting individuals and communities.
To further facilitate staff development, Buttercups managing director Vanessa Kingsbury detailed recent changes to apprenticeship eligibility criteria, and to the level 3 pharmacy services qualification that now enable trainee technicians working under the supervision of another registered technician to qualify, and register, with the General Pharmaceutical Council.