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Health Education England supports regulation of new nursing associate role

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The national workforce planning body responsible for developing the forthcoming nursing associate role has revealed that it wants to see those in the new post regulated.

Health Education England’s chief executive said earlier this week that he wanted to see nursing associates regulated, but noted the final decision would be made by ministers and was expected in the coming weeks.

“Our consultation showed strong support for regulation”

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

However, Professor Ian Cumming did not state whether or not HEE believed nursing associates should be regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, or another regulatory body.

The NMC has previously said it could regulate nursing associates if asked to, with the new role being “subject to exactly the same regime” as registered nurses, regarding revalidation, fitness to practise and standards.

HEE’s consultation on nursing associates, carried out earlier this year, found most respondents wanted to see statutory regulation of the role, with the vast majority of those in favour saying the NMC should be the responsible body.

In its response to the consultation findings in May, HEE said a decision on regulation could not be made until the scope of practice had been defined and until after the risk to patient safety had been assessed by HEE and other national bodies.

In a new statement provided to Nursing Times, Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, director of nursing and national deputy director of education and quality, said: “Our consultation showed strong support for regulation of the role and it is something that we agree with.

“We are now waiting to see if there is agreement on this position from the Department of Health and are expecting a decision shortly,” she said.

Earlier this month, HEE announced the first 11 pilot sites across the country that would test the new role from December and confirmed 2,000 – double the number than originally planned – would be trained.

However, the roles’ scope of practice and curriculum as well as the decision over whether to regulate nursing associates have still yet to be announced.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This makes me so angry!!! I have been an assistant practitioner for 5 years and was told 7 years ago we would be registered. Seven years later they have no place for us, we work as health cares with no designated place for us to work as assistant practitioners. Sums it up when in the drop menu on this website there was no selection for Assistant practitioners!! That's after 9 years of this role being around and even the nursing times doesnt recognise our role, hell even the CQC didn't know what our role was. The solution is to create an identical role following the same first two years of the nursing degree but call it something different! If they can't work out where we fit in where are these 1000 or so nursing associate going to fit in.

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