Times journalist Camilla Cavendish has been asked by the government to conduct a study of healthcare assistants to ensure they have the necessary training standards, Nursing Times has learnt.
The move comes in response to recommendations in Robert Francis QC’s Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry report that healthcare assistants should be subject to statutory regulation and receive more training.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We want people to get the most safe, effective and compassionate care - so we need to make sure that the staff tasked with carrying out the most personal and fundamental support have the skills and values to provide this.
“Camilla Cavendish has been asked to conduct an independent study of healthcare and care assistants to ensure that they have the training and support they need to provide these most essential of services to the highest standards.”
Ms Cavendish was a contemporary of prime minister David Cameron at Oxford and chaired the chief nursing officer’s conference in Manchester last autumn. She has previously written articles indicating support for HCA regulation.
The government is in favour of voluntary regulation and has previously commissioned Skills for Health to produce training standards and a code of conduct for the workforce.
It is not clear how the latest review will fit with this work which is due to be published soon.