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The big question: should HCAs complete care certificates?


The Cavendish review has recommended that all healthcare assistants should complete a certificate in “fundamental” care before they can look after patients unsupervised.

The review, which was carried out by the Sunday Times journalist Camilla Cavendish, said introducing the Certificate of Fundamental Care would help to drive up standards and improve the status of support workers.

She said that HCAs who completed the certificate should be allowed to use the term “nursing assistant” in a bid to reduce the number of current job titles held by support workers.

Ms Cavendish said the description of the work of HCAs as “basic care” understated the skill needed for many of the tasks and proposed the Certificate of Fundamental Care would be a “badge of honour” and “a first step first step in a caring career”.

Do you think introducing certificates for HCAs would help to boost standards of care?

Your comments could be published in Nursing Times.


Readers' comments (3)

  • michael stone

    Yes, provided the qualification is sensibly designed and sensiby taught and assessed.

    There should probably, because it is obvious that HCAs perform different tasks in different settings, be a 'core' qualification and other 'specialism qualifications', all of which should meet national standards, so that they are meaningful and transferrable across jobs/regions/employers.

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  • why should patients be expected to put their lives in the hands of those who are untrained and unqaulified to carry out care? and often they are not even aware of the abilities and training of those looking after them beeyond what they experience of it which seems very hit and miss.

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  • Having been a HCA for the past year (mainly in nursing homes), I have been pondering this question as I dont get it....every year I have to take a seriesof courses on line and practical and I have met plenty of HCAs' with NVQ stages 3 and 4 (although now termed something else I believe), so are all HCAs not required to do this? I am grateful that I could initially start with no qualifications as I was able to find a job I love and hopefully on to nurse training, but I was not allowed into a home until I had had the initial training. I believe there should be a tier system (grades?) for HCA for those with the basic training and working up with the more training taken and seniority. As with any job there are good and bad carers.

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