Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Is a certificate for HCAs a move to bring back SENs?

  • Comments (27)

Last week Camilla Cavendish recommended all support workers in health and social care should complete a “certificate of fundamental care” before being allowed to work unsupervised.

On completing the certificate, those working in health would be called “nursing assistants”.

Looking back to the 1930s the problem of nurse shortages and financial pressures led to the recruitment of large numbers of assistant nurses. Subsequent legislation  lead to the creation of  State Enrolled Assistant Nurses.

What do you think? Do we need a second level nurse?

  • Comments (27)

Readers' comments (27)

  • Anonymous

    I hope it doesn't lead to the reintroduction of the 'SEN' as I remember how hospitals used to take advantage of them pressurising them into doing the job of a SRN, but for SEN pay.

    What I do hope is that this certificate focuses on practical skills e.g. B/P measuring, urinalysis and pressure area care, but with some theory so that they know what they're being asked to do and why. I hope it isn't just an NVQ by another name.

    I also hope that this certificate will have sufficient standing to allow those who wish to progress to become a RN are able to do so.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Sen's were registered with the ukcc and then nmc, and gave drugs as well as a host of other clinical duties. Hca's will not be doing that.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I trained back in the day when SEN's were common place and for the most part I thought they were excellent nurses and sometimes a real nurse as they did the real day to day nursing care that as RN we seemed to have moved away from and sometimes have no chance to do any more.
    There are lots of people who do not have the academic prowess to be an RN but they have the skill and dedication to be a 'Nurse' in the SEN capacity. I have never liked the term HCW or HCSW because it gives the owner of that title no possession to an admirable profession and to the credit that they are due for the job of nursing.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    I was an SEN originally - I loved the job of 'bedside' nursing but there came a time when I wanted more: more power, responsibility and, of course, more money.

    Fortunately, at that time, my employer was still able to put me on the 'conversion course' and I did not have to lose wages, NHS pension payments nor my place in my department. I don't regret this choice at that time in my life and I am grateful for the support the NHS gave me to attain the RGN qualification.

    For an HCA /HCW or even an associate practitioner - they would now have to leave their current job to train at university for Registered Nurse status and this is fine but many of these staff would need to give up their salary and be on a bursary and many are the sole bread winners in their family.

    There must be some way of redressing this loophole and before those RNs in my age group are obliged to 'retire' ....some 200,000 in the next 10 years.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Our trained HCAs are effectively SENs in all but name - and pay. With some form of registration for them in the offing the difference between them and SENs will be very slight indeed.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    I converted from SEN to RGN but I found that the nurses who didn't want the hassle of the training and extra responsibility still did the same jobs as the RGN! Still being in charge of a ward etc. etc. but not getting payed for it. What a rip off! So of course they will want to bring that in again and screw some other poor beggars for every ounce of work from them but without the pay.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 23-Jul-2013 2:42 pm

    "Our trained HCAs are effectively SENs in all but name"

    What training have they received? Have they sat formal exams and assessments and are they registered with the NMC, paying their registration fees and taking full accountability for their registered status?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    2nd Level Nurses are still alive and kicking and registered with NMC

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    HCAs are not SENs who undertook a 2 year training programme, moved around different areas for experience, undertook 4 assessments and sat 'final' exams. we had hca's (called auxillary nurses) when we had SENs on the wards. Yes, HCAs now undertake 'extended' skills but so do the rest of us.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Well said anonymous 7:50!
    And if like me you went abroad for many years and came back ........you had to go to University and do the exact same Return To Practice course as RN'S to get back on the register.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 102050results per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.