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Career development for support workers

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HC-One has started a care assistant development programme to help senior carers develop their skills and expertise.

Care assistants will administer medication, carry out wound care, assist with care planning, handle catheter care and other direct clinical tasks under the guidance and supervision of qualified nurses.

The programme works towards improving the quality of care and encouraging care workers to take on a more fulfilling role, helping them progress their careers. It was the first to be approved by the Royal College of Nursing on 18 September 2015 after the first trial in March.

Alison Innes-Farquhar, director of people development, said the programme aimed to address the lack of nurses in health and social care with the hopes of providing more consistency for residents with permanent staff. It makes more staff involved accountable for the care of residents and offers career opportunities that didn’t exist before.

Stacey Rafferty, one of the care assistants, said: “I feel I am able to demonstrate my skills and experience more effectively within the team, assisting the nurses and helping them to have greater efficiency on delivering their care to the residents within the home.”

Ms Innes-Farquhar added that residents are receiving better and more consistent care because assistants are able to recognise changes, early signs and symptoms displayed which may be missed if staff were changed often.

Care assistant Katie Evans said: “The role has enabled residents to gain greater confidence in the care they receive, relatives also have commented that they receive better, cleared lines of communication as a result. Especially in the area of less agency usage. Staff are more motivated as they have additional leadership and support to deal with their challenging roles.”


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