2.3 Skills for Health
What is Skills for Health?

Skills for Health is the licensed Sector Skills Council for health sector employers.   It developed the National Occupation Standards (NOS) which describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake a particular task or job to a nationally recognised level of competence. According to their website, they focus on what the person needs to be able to do, as well as what they must know and understand to work effectively.   The NOS can be mapped against and linked to NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework Dimensions. 


What are the dysphagia competences?


The Skills for Health competences are aligned with four of the five levels of the Inter-Professional Dysphagia Framework (Boaden et al, 2006).

The Assistant Dysphagia Practitioner is linked to competency units:

     

·    CHS159 Provide support to individuals to develop their skills in managing               dysphagia
·      CHS160 Assist others to monitor individuals’ attempts at managing                       dysphagia
·      SCDHSC0214 Support individuals to eat and drink

The Foundation Dysphagia Practitioner is linked to competency unit:

·      DYS1 Undertake a protocol-guided swallowing assessment.


The Specialist Dysphagia Practitioner is linked to competency units:

·         DYS2 Undertake a comprehensive swallowing assessment
·         DYS4 Develop a dysphagia care plan

The Consultant Dysphagia Practitioner is linked to competency units:

·         DYS3 Undertake a specialist dysphagia assessment
·         DYS4 Develop a dysphagia care plan

NB Awareness level is included in the Inter-Professional Dysphagia Framework but is not considered a level of competence (Boaden et al, 2006).

The section Resources for trainers, contains information about each level.  


How to access the Dysphagia e-learning module


Skills for Health provide a platform for e-learning to deliver core skills training for National Health Service staff.  This is known as the National Skills Academy for Health. 

The Dysphagia module is available from the National Skills Academy for Health - Skills for Heath website.   To access this resource you need an NHS email. Alternatively if your place of work operates an electronic staff training record the Dysphagia module may be available and accessed from here.