A new validation and professional development scheme has been launched for healthcare assistants that work in mental health inpatient settings.
The “Ward Stars” scheme is intended to help make explicit the aspects of HCA work that are particularly valued by mental health inpatients, such as supportive relationships, meaningful involvement in their care and meaningful activities.
The scheme is the latest addition to the Star Wards project, which is run by the social justice charity Bright.
The project works collaboratively with mental health wards to improve patients’ daily experiences and treatment outcomes. About 650 wards are currently members of the project.
The aim of the new scheme is to enhance the status and reputation of HCAs, who are “the heart of care” on mental health wards, but have the least amount of training and recognition.
The process is structured around seven “stars”, which are each focused on key themes of therapeutic inpatient care.
Staff who successfully work their way through the stars will accumulate a portfolio of diverse aspects of their work and will be presented with a certificate for each completed star.
“We’ve designed Ward Stars to be a straight-forward and satisfying structure for HCAs to recognise and evidence the incredible work done with very vulnerable patients”
Nic Higham, an inpatient care consultant for the Star Wards project, said: “Working as a healthcare support worker on a range of mental health wards, I appreciate what a challenging as well as rewarding role this is.
“We’ve designed Ward Stars to be a straight-forward and satisfying structure for HCAs, and other support staff, to recognise and evidence the incredible work done with very vulnerable patients,” he added.
- More information and resources are available on the Ward Stars website