Developing the Associate Practitioner Role – A Regional Approach To Mental Health and Learning Disabilities


In 2008 NHS Yorkshire and the Humber instigated a project to develop an educational commissioning framework for the workforce in mental health and learning disabilities. Part of this work is focussed on providing evidence and developing frameworks for the implementation of new ways of working. The development of associate practitioner roles is an integral part of this process and crucial to future workforce planning. Associate practitioners are workers who have skills and knowledge beyond those of current support workers; they offer the opportunity to implement roles that meet some of the challenges for service delivery by bridging gaps in delivery. They enhance the experiences of service users and work across professional and service boundaries. Evidence from the project suggests that policy drivers when considered in the context of both workforce demographics and service commissioning patterns means that the introduction of associate practitioner is an important element of future workforce planning. The development of a regional approach has brought its own challenges and the evidence found so far has been used to develop recommendations and a second stage plan for implementation of the associate practitioner strategy.

How to Cite

Beacock, S., (2009) “Developing the Associate Practitioner Role – A Regional Approach To Mental Health and Learning Disabilities”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 6(2). doi:







Sue Beacock






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