HCAs should get great respect from other health professionals, according to the union Unison.
It recently carried out a survey of its HCA members, discovering 62% had considered leaving the NHS in the last year, mainly due to inadequate pay.
The survey also found that 45% of respondents felt ‘poorly’ or ‘very poorly’ valued, while only 11% felt ‘highly valued’.
Additionally, the survey revealed that 80% wanted their role to be regulated and 70% of younger HCA’s were keen to have nurse training. However, the union fears that the NMC’s review of pre-registration training, which looks set to recommend that nursing becomes a degree-only profession, may cut-off access to nurse training for HCA’s.
Announcing the results at a major HCA conference in London today, Gail Adams, Unison head of nursing, said: ‘The NHS is all about caring for people and that must include its own staff. HCAs want just a little respect. These are tomorrows’ healthcare professionals – value them now, respect their role, or lose them later. It is deeply worrying that, at a time of immense change in the NHS, such a high proportion of essential staff feel their job is just not valued.
‘This is not just about pay, though that is important, some of it is as simple as being thanked at the end of a shift or a difficult case,’ she added.