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1.  Supervision, support and mentoring interventions for health practitioners in rural and remote contexts: an integrative review and thematic synthesis of the literature to identify mechanisms for successful outcomes 
Objective
To identify mechanisms for the successful implementation of support strategies for health-care practitioners in rural and remote contexts.
Design
This is an integrative review and thematic synthesis of the empirical literature that examines support interventions for health-care practitioners in rural and remote contexts.
Results
This review includes 43 papers that evaluated support strategies for the rural and remote health workforce. Interventions were predominantly training and education programmes with limited evaluations of supervision and mentoring interventions. The mechanisms associated with successful outcomes included: access to appropriate and adequate training, skills and knowledge for the support intervention; accessible and adequate resources; active involvement of stakeholders in programme design, implementation and evaluation; a needs analysis prior to the intervention; external support, organisation, facilitation and/or coordination of the programme; marketing of the programme; organisational commitment; appropriate mode of delivery; leadership; and regular feedback and evaluation of the programme.
Conclusion
Through a synthesis of the literature, this research has identified a number of mechanisms that are associated with successful support interventions for health-care practitioners in rural and remote contexts. This research utilised a methodology developed for studying complex interventions in response to the perceived limitations of traditional systematic reviews. This synthesis of the evidence will provide decision-makers at all levels with a collection of mechanisms that can assist the development and implementation of support strategies for staff in rural and remote contexts.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-12-10
PMCID: PMC3944003  PMID: 24521004
Supervision; professional development; synthesis; mechanism; health practitioner; rural
2.  Implementing large-scale workforce change: learning from 55 pilot sites of allied health workforce redesign in Queensland, Australia 
Background
Increasingly, health workforces are undergoing high-level ‘re-engineering’ to help them better meet the needs of the population, workforce and service delivery. Queensland Health implemented a large scale 5-year workforce redesign program across more than 13 health-care disciplines. This study synthesized the findings from this program to identify and codify mechanisms associated with successful workforce redesign to help inform other large workforce projects.
Methods
This study used Inductive Logic Reasoning (ILR), a process that uses logic models as the primary functional tool to develop theories of change, which are subsequently validated through proposition testing. Initial theories of change were developed from a systematic review of the literature and synthesized using a logic model. These theories of change were then developed into propositions and subsequently tested empirically against documentary, interview, and survey data from 55 projects in the workforce redesign program.
Results
Three overarching principles were identified that optimized successful workforce redesign: (1) drivers for change need to be close to practice; (2) contexts need to be supportive both at the local levels and legislatively; and (3) mechanisms should include appropriate engagement, resources to facilitate change management, governance, and support structures. Attendance to these factors was uniformly associated with success of individual projects.
Conclusions
ILR is a transparent and reproducible method for developing and testing theories of workforce change. Despite the heterogeneity of projects, professions, and approaches used, a consistent set of overarching principles underpinned success of workforce change interventions. These concepts have been operationalized into a workforce change checklist.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-11-66
PMCID: PMC3895764  PMID: 24330616
Role redesign; Workforce change; Implementation; Logic model; Proposition testing; Mixed methods; Workforce flexibility; Allied health; Inductive logic reasoning
3.  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 
Video abstract
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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.
doi:10.2147/JMDH.S35493
PMCID: PMC3526861  PMID: 23271913
workforce change; allied health; assistant practitioner; Calderdale Framework; evaluation; podiatry; occupational therapy; speech pathology
4.  Assisting role redesign: a qualitative evaluation of the implementation of a podiatry assistant role to a community health setting utilising a traineeship approach 
Background
Increasing demands for podiatry combined with workforce shortages due to attrition, part-time working practices and rural healthcare shortages means that in some geographic areas in Australia there are insufficient professionals to meet service demand. Although podiatry assistants have been introduced to help relieve workforce shortages there has been little evaluation of their impact on patient, staff and/or service outcomes. This research explores the processes and outcomes of a ‘trainee’ approach to introducing a podiatry assistant (PA) role to a community setting in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government Health Service Directorate.
Method
A qualitative methodology was employed involving interviews and focus groups with service managers, qualified practitioners, the assistant, service users and consumer representatives. Perspectives of the implementation process; the traineeship approach; the underlying mechanisms that help or hinder the implementation process; and the perceived impact of the role were explored. Data were analysed using the Richie and Spencer Framework approach.
Results
Although the impact of the PA role had not been measured at the time of the evaluation, the implementation of the PA traineeship was considered a success in terms of enabling the transfer of a basic foot-care service from nursing back to podiatry; releasing Enrolled Nurses (ENs) from foot-care duties; an increase in the number of treatments delivered by the podiatry service; and high levels of stakeholder satisfaction with the role. It was perceived that the transfer of the basic foot-care role from nursing to podiatry through the use of a PA impacted on communication and feedback loops between the PA and the podiatry service; the nursing-podiatry relationship; clinical governance around the foot-care service; and continuity of care for clients through the podiatry service. The traineeship was considered successful in terms of producing a PA whose skills were shaped by and directly met the needs of the practitioners with whom they worked. However, the resource intensiveness of the traineeship model was acknowledged by most who participated in the programme.
Conclusions
This research has demonstrated that the implementation of a PA using a traineeship approach requires good coordination and communication with a number of agencies and staff and substantial resources to support training and supervision. There are added benefits of the new role to the podiatry service in terms of regaining control over podiatric services which was perceived to improve clinical governance and patient pathways.
doi:10.1186/1757-1146-5-30
PMCID: PMC3544652  PMID: 23181834
5.  Systemic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma involving the orbit and leptomeninges 
Summary
We report a case of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in a 46-year-old female presenting in an unusual manner with stage IVB disease including concurrent orbital and leptomeningeal involvement. The cytologic features and cytogenetics of the malignancy are noted, and the management and progression of the disease, with attention to orbital involvement, is recorded for a period of over 2.5 years, until the patient’s death.
doi:10.5693/djo.02.2010.06.001
PMCID: PMC3516149  PMID: 23362375
6.  "There's no place like home" A pilot study of perspectives of international health and social care professionals working in the UK 
Background
Many countries are reporting health workforce shortages across a range of professions at a time of relatively high workforce mobility. Utilising the global market to supply shortage health skills is now a common recruitment strategy in many developed countries. At the same time a number of countries report a 'brain drain' resulting from professional people leaving home to work overseas. Many health and social care professionals make their way to the UK from other countries. This pilot study utilises a novel 'e-survey' approach to explore the motives, experiences and perspectives of non-UK health and social care professionals who were working or had worked in the UK. The study aims to understand the contributions of international health and social care workers to the UK and their 'home' countries. The purpose of the pilot study is also in part to test the appropriateness of this methodology for undertaking a wider study.
Results
A 24-item questionnaire with open-ended and multiple choice questions was circulated via email to 10 contacts who were from a country outside the UK, had trained outside the UK and had email access. These contacts were requested to forward the email to other contacts who met these criteria (and so on). The email was circulated over a one month pilot period to 34 contacts. Responses were from physiotherapists (n = 11), speech therapists (n = 4), social workers (n = 10), an occupational therapist (n = 1), podiatrists (n = 5), and others (n = 3). Participants were from Australia (n = 20), South Africa (n = 10), New Zealand (n = 3) and the Republic of Ireland (n = 1). Motives for relocating to the UK included travel, money and career opportunities. Participants identified a number of advantages and disadvantages of working in the UK compared to working in their home country health system. Respondents generally reported that by working in the UK, they had accumulated skills and knowledge that would allow them to contribute more to their profession and health system on their return home.
Conclusion
This pilot study highlights a range of issues and future research questions for international learning and comparison for the health and social care professions as a result of international workforce mobility. The study also highlights the usefulness of an e-survey technique for capturing information from a geographically diverse and mobile group of professionals.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-2-25
PMCID: PMC1283969  PMID: 16253132

Results 1-6 (6)