Unlocking the potential of the allied health workforce and improving patient care delivery will be helped by the accreditation of New Zealand’s first Calderdale Framework practitioners, believes the South Island Alliance.

The Alliance – a collaborative initiative across the South Island’s five district health boards – has been using the UK-based Calderdale Framework to help shape and develop the South Island’s allied health workforce.

Two allied health leaders – Hilary Exton, Director of Allied Health, Nelson Marlborough DHB, and Vicki Prout, Team Leader Community Physiotherapist at Canterbury DHB – recently completed their training with the UK-based Calderdale Framework founders and are now certified practitioners of the Calderdale Framework (an allied health skill sharing and delegation tool).

Exton said the pair would now have a key role in building the capacity and sustainability of the allied health workforce, by training facilitators to lead workforce redesign projects in their own DHBs.

“This is really positive, as it means we can train our own facilitators going forward, so we are not so reliant on the UK founders. This ensures sustainability and we can now start to develop and strengthen our own network of facilitators across the South Island.”

Since beginning their practitioner training, the pair has trained one South Island cohort of Calderdale Framework facilitators under supervision. They have also begun training a cohort of facilitators for Central Region. Vicki says it has been a rewarding journey.

“Seeing everything come to fruition is really pleasing and it’s great to see all five DHBs involved in the implementation of the framework, so we can make positive change through skill sharing and delegation, in order to meet the demands of health care.”

The Calderdale Framework was developed out of clinical need 10 years ago by Jayne Duffy and Rachael Smith of Effective Workforce Solutions UK, who say they are delighted to have the first Calderdale Framework practitioners in New Zealand.

“As allied health professionals ourselves, we know that our unique skill sets offer an amazing contribution to health care and problem solving abilities. This aligns strongly to the Framework, where appreciative enquiry to challenge practice and work in a more patient-focused way, is essential.”

They said the Framework had the potential to transform allied health services and there are exciting opportunities to work in collaboration with our nursing, medical and social care workforces to make a difference to staff and patients, while improving quality and managing costs.”

Anne Buckley, Allied Health Facilitator and Project Manager for the South Island Alliance’s Workforce Development Hub, said the credentialing of the practitioners is an exciting moment on the implementation journey.

The South Island Calderdale Framework implementation is part of a broad strategy by the South Island Directors of Allied Health to address future workforce needs by developing a more flexible and competent allied health scientific and technical workforce. It assists in developing the skills and capacity of the unregulated (Kaiāwhina) workforce to allow their appropriate engagement in specific delegated clinical tasks. It also supports allied health professionals to work to top of scope and inter-professionally, to optimise clinical service provision.

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