This Learning Disability Transition Pathway Competency Framework has been developed by Health Education England, in partnership with Skills for Health to support the workforce development of people working in services with young people with learning disabilities as they lead up to and make the transition from children's to adults’ service provision.
The Framework identifies things that people who provide learning disability services during transition need to know and do to ensure a smooth transition.
The Framework will support: a well planned transition for young people; better understanding of the development needs of the workforce; effective training for those working with young people in transition and the implementation of NICE NG43 Transition from children’s to adults’ services for young people using health or social care services.
The Framework provides a consistent quality standard for the training and development of professionals who support young people in transition. For a link to the site please click here.
Aims and objectives
The aim of the Learning Disability Transition Pathway Competency Framework is to support the development of people who work in services with young people with learning disabilities, as they lead up to and make the transition from children's to adults’ service provision, by providing a consistent standard for the skills, knowledge and competencies required in transition.
The objectives of the project were:
- To better understand the workforce development needs of people who work in services with young people with learning disabilities as they lead up to and make the transition from children's to adults’ service provision
- To support the development of successful transition teams
- To development a framework which outlines the components of effective education and training for those working with young people in transition
- To develop a framework to support competency based learning and development programmes which can be applied consistency across the Transition Workforce.
Reasons for implementing your project
The West Midlands Mental Health Institute Local Education Training Council (LETC) is a collaboration of NHS Mental Health/Learning Disability Provider Trusts from across the West Midlands region. The Mental Health Institute LETC sets the strategic priorities for the development of the Mental Health and Learning Disability workforce across the West Midlands region.
This project forms part of the Mental Health Institute LETC Learning Disability Workforce Development Innovation Programme. A strategic Workforce Development Programme to address the issues of capacity and capability of the future Learning Disabilities Workforce across the West Midlands
The project was conducted across the West Midlands region.
Following the development of the Learning Disability Workforce Competency Framework Generic Service Interventions Pathway, which was commissioned by Health Education England to support development of the learning disability workforce, it was acknowledged that a more detailed approach to the competencies required by the workforce during the period of transition between children's and adults’ services was required.
Ensuring a seamless transition from children’s to adults’ services has been a challenge for services for many years. It was identified that there was not a consistent approach to staff development in transition across organisations and across the West Midlands and this was impacting on the transition experienced by young people and their families.
A research review was conducted at the start of the project. The resulting report provided; a definition of transition and the transition workforce; summarised the legislation governing Transition; outlined some of the challenges faced in transition; and the factors that can lead to a successful transition.
A consultation was completed with professionals working in different roles which support young people with learning disabilities in transition and the transition report produced begins to identify some of the workforce development needs that can support a positive transition experience.
It was clear from this early work that; many staff felt unclear about their role when supporting young people and families in transition from children to adult services; there was a lack of communication and a lack of joined up working between different professionals; and workforce development to support people working in transition was limited.
How did you implement the project
The project was funded by the West Midlands Mental Health Institute Local Education Training Council (LETC), Health Education England, working across the West Midlands. This project formed part of the Mental Health Institute LETC Learning Disability Workforce Development Innovation Programme
A research review was conducted at the start of the project.
Following this a consultation was completed with professionals working across the West Midlands in different roles which involved the transition of young people with learning disabilities.
The results of these were fed into the Mental Health Institute LETC Learning Disability Workforce Development Innovation Programme Board and it was agreed a wider consultation event would be held to provide an opportunity engage more professionals and enable the work to be informed by a wide range of views.
A partnership was formed with Skills for Health to develop a Competency Framework aligned to the Learning Disability Workforce Competency Framework Generic Service Interventions Pathway
A workshop was held for professions from across the West Midlands whose role involves working with young people in transition,
The areas covered at the workshop were:
- Who are the people in the Transition Workforce?
- What does the Transition Pathway look like?
- What are the current challenges in transition? And how could these be overcome?
- What competencies does the transition workforce require?
The workshop was well attended by some very enthusiastic professionals who all worked with young people in transition or managed transition services. All professionals were keen to improve transition for young people locally.
A consultation took place with young people with learning disabilities, which further informed the work.
The feedback from the workshop and the consultation were analysed to inform the development of a draft Learning Disability Transition Pathway Competency Framework.
A reference group of professionals with expertise in transition services was developed. The first draft of the framework was shared with the reference group to gain their views and further input. The feedback gained was used to further develop the framework and produce the final document.
A Learning Disability Transition Pathway Competency Framework has been produced. It is accessible by clicking here.
The Framework is aligned to the Learning Disability Workforce Competency Framework Generic Service Interventions Pathway.
The Learning Disability Transition Pathway Competency Framework identifies things that people who provide learning disability services during transition need to know and do when supporting a young person in transition. Each section identifies the skills and knowledge required to undertake the specific activity. To ensure consistency, these have been mapped to the National Occupational Standards that describe each competency.
This framework outlines all the competencies required in order to meet the development needs of the transition workforce/team. The sections which are applicable to each worker will depend on the specific role they have in the transition of young people.
The framework will have particular relevance for:
- Managers of services:
- to better understand the development needs of the workforce
- maximise the contribution of the existing workforce
- identify new ways of working
- help identify the need for, and development of, new roles.
- Education Commissioners: to support competency based learning and development programmes
- People with a learning disability and their carers who wish to contribute to the development of care services
- Service Commissioners and Workforce Development Leads: to help describe service models, develop specifications and assurance activities.
The implementation of the Learning Disability Transition Pathway Competency Framework will support a well planned, person centred, seamless transition for young people and their families.
The framework can improve efficiency across organisations through a consistent approach to staff development; a focus on person centred care and better joined up working between agencies.
Evaluating the framework development
An evaluation was completed with 44 people who had all been involved in the development of the Framework. These professionals worked in health services, social care and education in a cross sector of roles including clinical psychologist, learning disabilities nurses, matron, social worker, strategic managers. The survey gathers information on:
- current transition processes and procedures
- how young people are currently involved in transition
- workforce development opportunities
- how transition could be improved.
The responses will provide a baseline score for transition. This survey can be repeated in 6 months time to measure the impact of the work.
The evaluation results revealed that currently:
- Over 50% of respondents felt information on transition was not available, clear and accessible by
- Staff were not felt to have all the skills and knowledge they need about transition
- Over 70% of respondents stated different organisations don’t currently work together well during transition
- Transition services were not felt to be well planned and coordinated
- Over 70% of respondents indicated they had not received training on transition
- 100% of the respondents felt the Transition Pathway Competency Framework
- Reflected the views of stakeholders involved in the development of the Competency Framework
- Met their expectations
- Was easy to use
Feedback has also been gained from professionals who attended the workshop to identify how they will be improving transition in their areas. This showed the following positive outcomes:
- Improving links with other agencies
- Considering the role of a transition worker
- Raising awareness of transition within their organisation
Key learning points
- Define what you mean - the phrase 'transition' is used to describe a number of stages in a persons life
- Find out what is happening currently in your local area and nationally – there needs to be a link up between local and national work and any new developments
- Gain sign up at a strategic level to the involvement in the development and the implementation of the framework
- Focus on solutions rather than challenges
- Involve the wide range of professionals involved in transition with expertise in the area
- Involve and gain the views of young people and carers.
- The challenges were to gain involvement and input from the wide range of professionals involved in transition.
- To produce a framework that could be used by the range of professionals involved in transition e.g. health professionals, social care and education, third sector providers. It would have been good to have had more time to launch this work and provide support to ensure it is embedded.
- To ensure the framework is implemented.