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Healthcare Assistant Training
In the wake of the Francis Inquiry into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, an independent report has recommended that healthcare assistants should have to be trained and gain accreditation in order to start work.
insideHealth magazine issue 9, August 2013
The review, commissioned by the Government, looked at how the training and support of healthcare and social care assistants can be changed so that standards of care are improved. It recommends the introduction of a universal training and accreditation system which healthcare assistants must go through before they can work unsupervised. Currently there is no set training or qualifications for healthcare assistants – it is up to their individual employers to decide what they need.
The Cavendish Review says the quality of training and support that care workers receive in the NHS and social care system varies between organisations and, in some cases, is lacking; a point also made in the Francis Report.
The Government has already promised to establish minimum training standards for healthcare assistants by Spring 2014.
The review calls for the introduction of a ‘Certificate of Fundamental Care', which would link healthcare assistant training to nurse training, making it easier for staff to progress up the career ladder.
All new healthcare assistants would need to obtain the certificate and existing healthcare assistants would need to prove they have the equivalent training. The report also recommends that healthcare assistants should be called ‘Nursing Assistants'.
Should healthcare assistants have to be accredited?
It's time to have your say – do you think healthcare assistants should have to pass a certificate in order before starting work? Or will this discourage people from wanting to join the profession?
Tell us what you think and join the discussion at facebook.com/reedspecialistrecruitment.
Healthcare Assistants: Fact file
- Healthcare assistants work within hospital or community settings under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional.
- They can be known as nursing auxiliaries or auxiliary nurses.
- Healthcare assistants also work alongside qualified midwives in maternity services.
- Types of duties include washing, dressing and feeding patients, bed-making,
monitoring patients' conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respirations and weight.
- There are more care assistants than nurses working in England.
- Healthcare assistants can get into the role via an apprenticeship.
- They may have the opportunity to obtain QCF qualifications at level 2 or 3 in Healthcare Support Services or Clinical Healthcare Support.