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The big question: Will a certificate of care for HCAs drive up standards?


A compulsory national certificate for care workers is to be introduced in an attempt to drive up standards, health minister Earl Howe has announced.

The decision follows a recommendation by Camilla Cavendish in a review set up in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust scandal.

She found there was no minimum standard of training for healthcare assistants before they could work unsupervised and recommended at least two weeks of initial training.


What do you think? Will standards improve?

Your responses could be published in Nursing Times.


Readers' comments (2)

  • michael stone

    It should eliminate the really incompetent (well, in theory if not necessarily in reality - it depends whether the attainment of this basic standard is paper exercise or a real one).

    As for driving up standards in a wider sense, I think 'add-on' further qualifications would be the route to do that ? Plus encouragement to improve (training opportunities, better pay for having better qualifications, career progression, etc).

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  • Two weeks? That's ridiculous. Modern health care is getting so complex that the role of the HCA in safe hospital & community teams should be diminishing because they don't have the ability to make safe informed clinical decisions. There's a limit to the kind of care where this inability doesn't matter

    Instead, the drive to cut staff costs is leading to increased substitution of HCAs for registered nurses. No wonder patient safety and care quality are a serious concern.

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