Health Education England and NHS England commissioned the development of this core capabilities framework to improve the effectiveness and capability of services for people living with frailty.

This framework aims to identify and describe the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to deliver high quality, holistic, compassionate care and support. It provides a single, consistent and comprehensive framework on which to base review and development of staff.  It will be applicable to health, social care and other employers, employees, people living with frailty, carers, the community, the public and also to educational organisations which train students who will subsequently be employed in the workforce.

The framework aims to describe core capabilities, defined as follows:

  • Core: common and transferable across different types of service provision.
  • Capabilities: the underpinning knowledge, skills and behaviours which give a person the potential to become competent – capabilities can be the outcomes of education, training or experience.

The scope of this framework is described in 3 tiers:

  • Tier 1:  Those that require general awareness of frailty.
  • Tier 2:  Health and social care staff and others who regularly work with people living with frailty but who would seek support from others for complex management or decision-making.
  • Tier 3:  Health, social care and other professionals with a high degree of autonomy, able to provide care in complex situations and who may also lead services for people living with frailty.

It comprises the following capabilities, grouped into four domains:

Domain A. Understanding, identifying and assessing frailty

  • Capability 1. Understanding frailty
  • Capability 2. Frailty identification and assessment

Domain B. Person-centred collaborative working

  • Capability 3. Person-centred approaches
  • Capability 4. Communication
  • Capability 5. Families and carers as partners in care
  • Capability 6. Collaborative and integrated working

Domain C. Managing frailty

  • Capability 7. Preventing and reducing the risk of frailty
  • Capability 8. Living well with frailty, promoting independence and community skills
  • Capability 9. Physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Capability 10. Managing medication
  • Capability 11. Care and support planning

Domain D. Underpinning principles

  • Capability 12. Law, ethics and safeguarding
  • Capability 13. Research and evidence-based practice
  • Capability 14. Leadership in transforming services

As well as being a standalone resource, it complements similar frameworks for person-centred approaches, dementia, end of life and musculoskeletal care to provide a suite of resources to enable the holistic approach to training and education which is required to enable holistic and person-centred care.

A copy of the framework is available here.

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