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Meet our steering group member – Debbi Challen


Over the past five years our steering group has contributed to the development of lots of resources and support for individual employers, PAs and organisations who support them.

Since it was first introduced, the group’s evolved to include health colleagues so that we can support both direct payment and personal health budget holders who employ PAs.

We now have 18 engaged experts from a range of backgrounds, who meet every quarter to ensure our work is both relevant and fit for purpose.

Keep up with the conversation using #PAframework or join our ‘Supporting organisations’ group on Twitter*.

This month we’d like to introduce steering group member, Debbi Challen.                   

Debbi works as a Personal Health Budgets Care Navigator at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Together with NHS England, Debbi works on some of the more operational aspects of individuals becoming employers using their personal health budgets, including:

  • liaising with HMRC about employment status of PAs

  • advising on CQC registration requirements

  • developing resources about employer responsibilities such as template contracts and workplace pension’s guidance.

Debbi’s also heavily involved in the personal health budget PA training project, which explores approaches to training and assessment of PAs, for tasks delegated to them by health care practitioners.

Her part in this project brings great expertise to the steering group, as this year Skills for Care is exploring the complexities around training for individual employers and PAs.

Georgina Turner, Head of Employer Engagement at Skills for Care, said:

“With more people choosing to employ personal assistants, we need to ensure that learning and development to support this workforce is person-centred and high quality.

Debbi’s experience is invaluable as we continue to work closely with health colleagues to provide streamlined support to all individual employers.”

By joining the steering group, Debbi is able to use her own experiences to influence future support for individual employers and PAs.

Debbi said: “Being a member of the steering group is an opportunity to contribute and potentially influence how some of the challenges individual employers face can be tackled, hopefully resulting in good quality resources and best practice models that benefit both PAs and individual employers.

It also gives me an opportunity to gain a broader prospective on the issues and challenges other people and organisations face around PA working and how they approach them – so it’s a good learning and networking opportunity for me.”


Keep up to date

Keep up to date with news from the sector by signing up to our quarterly bulletin.

*We’ve also put together a Twitter list of steering group members, organisations and individuals with an interest in this area of work. Subscribe and keep up to date with the latest news and resources – go onto the @skillsforcare profile, click on Lists and select the Supporting organisations group.

You can also visit our Information hub for individual employers and PAs to download useful resources, including the Employing personal assistants toolkit