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7 ways the Cavendish Report says HCA and support work should change


Today the Cavendish report has set out key recommendations on how the role of healthcare assistants and social care support workers should change in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust Public Inquiry.

Camilla Cavendish, a journalist who has written extensively about health, was asked by the government to examine the role of HCAs and social care support workers in the wake of the Francis report into care failings at Mid Staffordshire.

Her report makes seven key recommendations, including:

  1. Common training standards – all healthcare assistants should complete a certificate in ‘fundamental’ care before they can look after patients unsupervised
  2. Career progression – talented care workers will be able to progress into nursing and social care through the creation of a ‘Higher Certificate of Fundamental Care’. This will ensure they have a route to progress in their careers and an opportunity to use their vocational experience of working as healthcare assistant to enter the nursing profession
  3. New job title – HCAs who completed the certificate should be allowed to use the term ‘nursing assistant’ in a bid to reduce the number of current job titles held by support workers
  4. Caring experience – the Nursing and Midwifery Council should make caring experience a prerequisite to starting a nursing degree and review the contribution of vocational experience towards degrees
  5. Recruitment – directors of nursing should take back responsibility for the HCA workforce from human resources departments. Employers should also be supported to test the values, attitudes and aptitude of future staff for caring at the recruitment stage
  6. Quality assurance – Health Education England, with Skills for Health and Skills for Care, should develop proposals for a rigorous system of quality assurance for training and qualifications, which links to funding outcomes, so that money is not wasted on ineffective courses
  7. Poor performance – the legal processes for challenging poor performance should be reviewed so that employers can be more effective in identifying and removing any unsatisfactory staff

Readers' comments (6)

  • And we are giving credence to a journo from the Times, why?

    Let me think. Could it be the jelly spined profession fresh out of ideas and motivation? There are over half a million nurses in this country, but it would appear that policy should be left a non-nurse journalist.

    Yep. That about some up the state of nursing for me.

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  • ....or even 'sums up'.!

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  • Camilla Cavendish, a journalist - Say`s it all

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  • OK so she might be a journalist but what about the content of what she says? m
    Most of it makes sense which is better than wittering on about a person's right to point some of the obvious out!

    Surely instead of bitching about 'journos' it's about giving better care ultimately?
    And that doesn't necessarily need nursing experience to point out

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  • sometimes an objective points of view from outsiders is what is required. people or organisations don't always see their own problems and as they are there to provide a service to a group of people it is their view on what they need and what they actually get which is the most important.

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  • I must admit I was sceptical at first about the report but after reading it to be honest it makes a lot of sense. I currently work as a HCA in general practice and feel that this would be a massive step forward and think that there should be some new job titles as HCA covers a wide group of workers people with more clinical skills share the same job title as those working within care homes who haven't been given the clinical skills surely this could be confusing for the patients. Everyone who works in healthcare should be recognised for the skills they have gained

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