Skills for Health has published a new working paper looking at innovative support roles that could emerge in the health workforce of the future.
Rehearsing Uncertain Futures – New roles and occupations explores potential new roles and occupations that could emerge in the UK health sector in response to drivers for change such as new technologies, an aging population, greater patient choice and funding pressures.
It draw its initial ideas from the Skills for Health scenario planning exercises held in autumn 2009, in which a series of new skill sets and roles in the future were speculated upon by an invited group of employers and stakeholders.
Potential future roles considered in the report include a Generic Community Worker, a Personal Health Navigator, a Remote Diagnostic Technician, a Lifestyle Trainer and a General Surgery Practitioner.
The report notes that many similar roles are already discernible in the health workforce, as employers seek to redefine traditional role boundaries and team structures in order to raise workforce flexibility and productivity, and improve quality of care. Some of these roles are also reflected in the ‘nationally transferable’ role templates now available to employers from Skills for Health.