Health and Social Care Task Group minutes: 30 November 2023

Health and Social Care Task Group minutes: 30 November 2023

Meeting details

Health and Social Care Task Group Meeting

Held on Thursday 30th November 2023 at 09:30-11:00

Online only, MS Teams

Attendees and apologies

Attendee initials and name followed by Organisation


Rosemary Pavoni

West Sussex Care Association


Jenni Cole

East Sussex Careers Hub


Hannah Brookshaw

ESCC, Partnerships and Projects Manager


Nicci Stringer

West Sussex County Council Adult Social Care


Vanessa Swaine

NHS Integrated Care Systems


Kathy Martyn

University of Brighton


Ian Whittle

REED in Partnership


Rose Miller

NHS Integrated Care Board


Sue Appleby



Gill Ramsay

East Sussex College Group


Paul Price-Hazelhurst

Heathercroft Training


Katrina Ashmore

Heathercroft Training Academy


Justine Willoughby

University of Brighton


Steve Sefton

University of Brighton


Hannah Roberts

NHS Sussex Health and Care Partnership


Mike Fisher

St Wilfred Hospice, Eastbourne


Kirsty Reid

Head of Curriculum Eastbourne


Adrian Barratt

Heathercroft Training


Jon Borthwick

WSCC Adult Social Care


Emily Liebig

ESCC Adult Social Care


Paul Williams

Rewards Training


Mike Derrick

Oakdown House


Heather Green

Department for Work & Pensions


Sarah Bowman

The Princes Trust



Laura Collier

ESCC, Senior Business Administrator



Holly Aquilina

East Sussex County Council


Jane Hurt

Department for Work and Pensions


Teresa Moon

ASCH Qualifications Lead


Geraldine Turton

University of Brighton


Lisa Mitchell

Brighton & Hove City Council Adult Social Care


Frances Highton

ESCC Adult Social Care


Marie Hockley

Community pharmacy

Actions arising from this meeting




Action 1: HB to look into inviting a representative from the pharmacy subgroup to join the Allied Health professionals Apprenticeship Group.


Next meeting

Action 2: Pharmacy subgroup work to continue through this task group.



Action 3: GR to check if there is any work being done on grouping employers together to provide T-Level work placements.


Next meeting?

Action 4: HB to contact Bexhill College to find out more about the skills gap in the Health & Social Care T-Level.


To inform action planning at next meeting

Action 5: ALL to send ideas for the next agenda/2024 action plan to Skills East Sussex


Before next meeting

1. Welcome (new members)

KM welcomed all in attendance. HB read the apologies, as noted above. 

2. Review of Previous Minutes & Actions

Minutes from the last meeting agreed. Actions to be covered today.

3. The Prince’s Trust – Health and Social care offer

SB shared a presentation about the work of The Prince’s Trust (attached with the minutes) and spoke about a Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) funded project to help people aged 16-30 get into health and social care careers with a focus on sustained employment.

DHSC funding has been secured for another 3 years. During this period, The Trust will be running a 4-day programme for clinical roles once a month and a 4-day programme for non-clinical roles every two months. There will also be ad hoc workshops and 1-2-1 mentoring.

The Trust is working with employers to understand the entry level vacancies in health & social care organisations and co-design the training with employment partners. The support provided is free for candidates and employers. Support can be provided for up to 6 months after the job interview.

Care assistant vacancies appear to be post popular currently, due to the notable vacancies in that area, however the project is aiming for as much variety on offer as possible.

4. Health and Social care – Careers Hub recruitment project

HB provided an update on this project, which is a partnership between ESCC and the NHS. The purpose is to promote opportunities in Health and Social Care for employment at all career stages, Apprenticeships, Adult Learning and Continued Professional Development.

The core roles identified to be covered in phase 1 are:

  • Nursing (general, staff nurse, night nurse)
  • Support worker/care assistant/healthcare assistant
  • Home care assistant/night assistant
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physiotherapists
  • Health visitors
  • Podiatrist
  • Radiographer


There is scope to extend this into a further phase subject to funding.

The Careers East Sussex website will act as the platform for this, through the development of infographics and videos highlighting the different pathways in a particular role. Target completion date is Spring 2024.

EL highlighted that this is not just an NHS-centric careers project, it is to highlight careers across the whole sector more widely.

5. Pharmacy subgroup – update

Recruitment and progression difficulties in the pharmacy sector were raised at the last meeting by the Deputy Chief Pharmacist. A subgroup was formed to look into the issues, which has met twice since the last task group.

The 2023 pharmacy cohort has seen a greater number of Level 2 assistant pharmacist applications which will hopefully translate into Level 3 roles. Feedback from community pharmacists has been positive; however, they have noted that the national scheme for accessing grant funding for training and salary support can be complicated to navigate.

Current actions include: facilitating an ongoing relationship between East Sussex community pharmacy and NHS England apprenticeship team via JS to support ease of access for pharmacists to the grant funding process, community pharmacy is to be introduced to the Transform programme to support handholding through the apprenticeship process, promote pharmacy as a career.

NHS England is driving to promote careers in the sector and the local ICS is currently focused on pharmacists. JS has invited the Employability and Skills Team to get involved, the next meeting is on the 4 December A final subgroup meeting is proposed in the new year, with continuing actions being bought back to this task group.

HB reported that pharmacists are not strictly counted as allied health professionals so inviting them to the Allied Health Professionals Apprenticeship Group may not be possible. HB to continue to look into this.

Action 1: HB to look into inviting a representative from the pharmacy subgroup to join the Allied Health professionals Apprenticeship Group.

Action 2: Pharmacy subgroup work to continue through this task group.

6. Skills East Sussex board – update

HB provided an update from the last Skills East Sussex Board meeting in October.

The DWP provided their quarterly update and noted for the second quarter in a row, that East Sussex data is bucking the trend with reductions on Universal Credit Claimants in all districts, when compared to neighbouring and regional areas. This work was credited to collaboration between educators, employers and stakeholders through SES and task groups for this.

The DWP is continuing to work on: 50+ SWAP (sector-based work academies),outreach work, ‘Inspire to Hire’ (speed dating for job seekers), job fairs.


TRANSFORM presented their evaluation on project progress so far, the project is well respected by businesses who have been supported it through it. The initial funding is coming to an end, with the intention for the programme to continue beyond this.


An update was provided on the new The South-East Institute of Technology, which is a collaboration between a number of colleges, including East Sussex College Group, focusses on Level 4/5 and higher level apprenticeships in logistics, engineering, construction, health and life sciences.  Capital funding has been provided and are currently underway, including at the ESCG Ore Valley campus, Hastings.


There was a discussion on the withdrawal of BTEC qualifications, with the intention of simplifying educational landscape (A Levels, Apprenticeships, T Levels). There is concern East Sussex businesses (mainly being SMEs) may find it challenging to support 45-day placements, which could impact on the number of students able to be undertake T Levels. Alongside this, there are gaps in provision in T Levels compared to BTECS. SES are to undertake mapping to understand the gaps and the impact this may have, FE colleges are lobbying centrally for solutions on how these gaps will be plugged.

KM suggested there could be a model where small employers work together to provide the 45-day work placement for T-Levels. There is a risk to learners who may feel that they don’t make progress but GR will check if anything is currently under consideration.

Employers and students need a greater understanding of what T-Levels are and what their options are beyond as they are still very new. Universities do accept T-Levels but not in every subject. SS reported that the University of Brighton is currently working with SCTP on progression maps.

HB noted that Bexhill College picked up a gap in the Health & Social Care T-Level compared to the BTEC. HB to feedback on what the gap related to.

Action 3: GR to check if there is any work being done on grouping employers together to provide T-Level work placements.

Action 4: HB to contact Bexhill College to find out more about the skills gap in the Health & Social Care T-Level.

7. Data trends – prep for 2024 action plan development

HB now has access to an online Local Labour market intelligence data portal which pulls in data from various sources.

A presentation providing a snapshot of general LMI for East Sussex, as well HSC specific spotlights was shared (attached with the minutes).

HB asked the group to think about potential actions for 2024, which will be discussed and agreed upon at the next meeting. Suggested actions include:

  • Improving perceptions of the sector
  • Subsector focus
  • Training/skills development opportunities

8. AOB/Date of Next Meeting/agenda items

JC confirmed that funding for a HSC sector Teacher Encounters day has been confirmed. The event will take place on 9 July - venue tbc. There have been a large number of offers for workshops from across the sector, which is really positive. JC will provide an update at the next meeting.

HB shared a request for employer views for a research project on what they need and want from the public employment service, which they are defining as any public or publicly-funded services that:

  • help employers to find, recruit and retain the right people for their jobs.
  • help people who want to move into work, stay in work or progress in work.
  • Your views can inform our research and help reform employment support.

Please email to register your interest for a brief 20-30 minute telephone interview, and have your say about how public employment services should be helping employers recruit, develop and retain staff.

Employer views needed: The Commission on the Future of Employment Support | Institute for Employment Studies (IES) (

The next meeting is on 1 February 2024, this will be face-to-face – venue to be confirmed. This will be focussed on discussing and agreeing the action plan for 2024.

Suggested ideas for next agenda/action plan: Gaps in T-Levels and skills; raising profile of social care and where health & social care work well together.

Action 5: ALL to send ideas for the next agenda to Skills East Sussex.