The role of the multi-professional consultant practitioner in supporting workforce transformation in the UK
There is an urgent need to transform health and social care to take a whole systems approach to meet health and social care need and address health inequalities in partnership with citizens and communities to focus on what matters to them. Pivotal to this is transformation of the healthcare workforce to develop the capabilities required and offer career progression and development opportunities to attract and retain staff. The contribution that multi professional consultant practice roles can make as system leaders to this challenge is highlighted across the five domains of multi-professional consultant level practice: 1) strategic and enabling leadership; 2) learning, developing, improving practices; 3) embedded research and inclusive evaluation; plus 4) process consultancy combined with 5) the credibility of professional expertise. The interdependence of these domains is a crucial part of the role, and its inbuilt flexibility is an asset which enables changing priorities and community needs to be addressed in partnership with people. The multi-professional skillset also contributes to developing effective cultures of learning at every level of the health and care system. This feature enables change to be embedded sustainably through drawing on and valuing the contribution of all and developing good places to work – instrumental in both workforce retention and innovation. Multi-professional consultant practice roles are an invaluable resource that needs to be at the forefront of system transformation ARTICLES AJPP 3 Vol 3, No2 (2022) and recognised as catalytic for achieving strategic priorities by commissioners. This paper provides three consultant level practice case studies in pharmacy, nursing, and allied health practice to illustrate impact and outcomes on population health priorities. There is an urgent need to invest in workforce education and development if the future vision for people centred integrated health and social care is to be realised and sustained in the longer term. This requires investment in commissioning consultant practitioner roles as systems leaders and creating attractive career progression and development frameworks for practitioners to progress from enhanced to advanced to consultant practitioner level roles.
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