Health (Informatics) (Wales)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR04183
Issue number: 12
Issued: 06 April 2018

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Health (Informatics) (Wales)
(PDF document 3.30 MB)

Issued by
Skills for Health

Contact name: Anne Clarke
Telephone number: 0117 9221155
Please download the framework for email contact information.

Purpose

Definition:
An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. On completion of the Apprenticeship, an apprentice will be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the health sector. 

About the health sector:
The health sector comprises those working in the NHS (public sector) as well as voluntary and private healthcare providers and employs over 2 million people. The range of roles within the sector is very varied and the NHS careers site lists in the region of 300 different jobs.

Individuals are likely to stay within the health sector for the majority of their working lives although they are also likely to change between different job roles and different employers as their career progresses.

Whilst all roles in the health sector are open to both male and female applicants, a large proportion of the health sector workforce is female. This is due in part to the flexible terms and conditions many employers offer but also varies from role to role. As a whole the workforce within the health sector tends to reflect the population within the local community it serves. As the UK population as a whole becomes older and lives longer so does the healthcare workforce. Widening participation policies apply and health sector employers recruit accordingly and may use their apprenticeship schemes as a means to address some of these issues.

There is a range of challenges for the health sector as a whole: an ageing population creates
higher demand for services and ongoing care; patients have a greater choice of which services and treatments they access; and the current economic climate means that budgets are tight.

Apprenticeships are one of the many ways in which employers within the health sector are seeking to address some of these increasing pressures. A qualified and competent support workforce is vital to the patient experience and to the smooth running of services.

About this framework:
This framework supports the broad vision of the sector to develop an increasingly skilled, flexible and effective workforce whilst maintaining high quality and safe care for patients and addresses specific outcomes of the Skills for Health Sector Skills Assessment 2011.
www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/about-us/resource-library/doc_download/328-sfh-summary -sector-skills-assessment-2011.html

Skills for Health is committed to engaging with employers, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the development of Apprenticeship frameworks. Engagement and consultation is through meetings including face to face and teleconferences and e-consultation. Consultation ensured that employer views are reflected in this framework on the minimum duration, the on and off the job learning time, the inclusion of IT Essential Skills Wales. Apprentices will learn new skills and knowledge whilst carrying out real work as part of the healthcare team. Each apprentice is employed under terms and conditions laid out in an Apprenticeship Agreement between the employer and apprentice and are paid at least the applicable rate under the Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage.

About the role:
Health Informatics is an emerging discipline within healthcare, but the recording and communication of information has always been essential to the practice of healthcare. Establishing Health Informatics as a recognised profession in health and care has been central to the national informatics development strategy for the last 10 years.

It is estimated that there are more than 3,000 people working in informatics roles in the NHS in Wales. There are  now qualifications to support Health Informatics roles at Career Framework Levels 2, 3 and 4. Apprenticeships are seen as being key to supporting recruitment and retention at this level of the profession and to providing the first step of a career pathway.

The following definition is generally agreed to sum up the scope of health informatics, "The knowledge, skills and tools which enable information to be collected, managed, used and shared to support the delivery of healthcare and to promote health" (NHS Careers, 2011).

Health Informatics is concerned with the effective use of data, information, knowledge and technology to support and improve health and health care delivery. As a profession, Health Informatics includes people working in a wide range of roles, which have been grouped together into seven disciplines:

• Knowledge Management
• Information Management
• Information and Communication Technology
• Health Records and Patient Administration
• Clinical Informatics
• Health Informatics Education and Training
• Project and Programme Management

Informatics in health and care is becoming an increasingly important profession as information and ICT systems become more and more part of the way services are delivered and supported.

Work is being undertaken to continually refine and define roles within Health Informatics and to develop the qualifications needed to support occupational competence in those roles. More information about the Health Informatics Career Framework can be found at https://www.hicf.org.uk

Government policy in the area of health and care focuses on the need for an “information revolution” which provides further incentive to drive up informatics knowledge and skills across the workforce. Importantly, this impacts on the capacity and capability of informatics specialists to support and enable new ways of working. Establishing career and qualification pathways in health informatics is a central strand of informatics policy.

This Apprenticeship framework is the first for Health Informatics roles and sits under the Information Management domain of the Health Informatics Career Framework http://www.hicf.org.uk/.

Whilst undertaking an Apprenticeship you will be eligible for free affiliate registration with the UK Council for Health Informatics Professions (UKCHIP). On completion of either the Foundation Apprenticeship or the Apprenticeship you would be eligible to apply for level 1 registration with UKCHIP, or a higher registration level provided other conditions of registration are met.

The UKCHiP website can be found at http://www.ukchip.org/

Traditionally people have tended to move into Health Informatics from other fields in health e.g. admin. This Apprenticeship framework has been developed to provide a direct entry route into the discipline of health informatics for people with little or no experience of the health sector or informatics. It can lead on to an exciting and fulfilling career.

Apprentices will work in Health Informatics in a Health Information Assistant, Assistant Practitioner (Informatics) or a Practitioner (Informatics) role. Actual job titles may vary.

 

Download framework

Health (Informatics) (Wales)
(PDF document 3.30 MB)