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Assessing the implementation process and outcomes of newly introduced assistant roles: a qualitative study to examine the utility of the Calderdale Framework as an appraisal tool

Authors Nancarrow S, Moran, Wiseman, Pighills A, Murphy K

Received 16 July 2012

Accepted for publication 8 October 2012

Published 6 December 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 307—317


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Video abstract present by Susan Nancarrow

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Susan Nancarrow,1 Anna Moran,1 Leah Wiseman,2 Alison C Pighills,3 Karen Murphy4

School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, East Lismore, NSW; 2School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW; 3Faculty of Medicine Health and Molecular Sciences, James Cook University, Education and Research Centre, Mackay Base Hospital, Mackay, QLD; 4ACT Government Health Directorate, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Abstract: Internationally, the health workforce has undergone rapid transformation to help meet growing staffing demands and population requirements. Several tools have been developed to support workforce change processes. The Calderdale Framework (CF) is one such tool designed to facilitate competency-based training by engaging team members in a seven step process involving awareness raising, service and task analysis, competency identification, establishing support systems, training, and sustaining. This paper explores the utility of the CF as an appraisal tool to assess whether adherence to the tool influences outcomes. The CF was applied retrospectively to three complete evaluations of allied health assistant role introduction: a new podiatry assistant role (Australia), speech pathology assistant (Australia), and occupational therapy assistant practitioner role (UK). Adherence to the CF was associated with more effective and efficient use of the role, role flexibility and career development opportunities for assistants, and role sustainability. Services are less likely to succeed in their workforce change process if they fail to plan for and use a structured approach to change, assign targeted leadership, undertake staff engagement and consultation, and perform an initial service analysis. The CF provides a clear template for appraising the implementation of new roles and highlights the potential consequences of not adhering to particular steps in the implementation process.

Keywords: workforce change, allied health, assistant practitioner, Calderdale Framework, evaluation, podiatry, occupational therapy, speech pathology

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