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Views still sought for HCA code and training standards


Nurses and healthcare assistants are being urged to take part in a consultation on the future development of a code of conduct and training standards for healthcare support workers.

The Department of Health commissioned the workforce body Skills for Health to carry out the work earlier this year, in response to mounting pressure to introduce mandatory regulation for HCAs and other support staff.

Although the DH has repeatedly ducked calls for mandatory HCA regulation, it has said the code of conduct and training standards being developed for HCAs and social care support workers could eventually lead to the creation of voluntary registers.

Skills for Health opened a consultation to “assist and inform” the development of the new code and standards on 25 July.

However, in a statement released last week it said “contributions are still being sought”.

The project aims to identify the standards of training and practice required for HCAs that report to registered nurses and midwives.

The work also covers adult social care workers working in support of health and social care professionals, independently, for Care Quality Commission registered residential care providers, or as domiciliary care workers in England.

Tricia Hart, deputy chief executive and director of nursing and patient safety at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, called on nurses to contribute.

She said: “I would encourage colleagues across the NHS to engage with the process ensuring their voices are heard.”

The consultation will close on 7 September with a final report expected from Skills for Health soon after.


Readers' comments (7)

  • I am a healthcare assistant working in general practice. I have been an HCA/Auxillary working in hospitals & nursing homes for 22 years. I have been working as an HCA for 8 years in general practice. I have a level 3 in heathcare, and have attended training courses iand am qualified in spirometry and inhaler technique, venupuncture,ear syringing, wound care, influenza,pneumococcal & vitamin B12, weight management etc. The reason I did not take my nurses training was because I have family commitments so cannot work shifts. My main role is almost that of a practice nurse. I have a mentor who helps me. I also have the full support of the Gp's and other members of the nursing team here at the surgery.I would welcome being regulated. I heard earlier last year that the HCA was to become the old state registered nurse. This would be ideal for HCA's of level 3 and above like me.

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  • the job you are doing is the old enrolled nurse dutys and are now called a p's i to have the expereance as you and more! and more mileage and also level three and classed as a higher clinical support woker yes i think all hca's sould be regulated then incidents would not appear but it all boiles down to money! you and myself could be stated at band four but the pay would not be there????

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  • I see no reason why anybody involved in the care of patients is not qualified and regulated in the interests of safety and well being.

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  • I am a Band 3 HCA in Nutrition Support, I also have my NVQ Level 3. I have had to to regular training and competences to do the job I do
    I would be very happy to be registered

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  • I agree health care assistants should be regualted and be accountable for their practice. I feel its in their best interest as well as the patients. All health care assistants should have competency framework to work to irrelevant of where they work and they should maintain a portfolio of evidence of how they are achieving the level they are working, its in everyones interest.

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  • in the interests of patient safety and quality of care nobody who is unqualified and unregulated should be allowed to deliver any type of nursing care.

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  • With respect, all the skills you list are hands on physical skills which are valid and important. However it is not these skills which make you a registered nurse. Nor are number of years in practice. I feel these comments fail to understand what register nurses training and what the responsibilities include. The GPs who are using you thus are abusing you I fear for financial reasons. Not doing the best for the patients either.
    I wish HCA s well in their quest to be regulated and they should be accountable for their own actions as in today's world " supervision" by a qualified nurse is at best impossible and these hands on tasks carry risk which cannot be taken on by the nurse on your behalf.

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