This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Missed opportunity for HCA regulation

Written by: | Published:

It is important to regulate HCAs It is important to regulate HCAs

I have written previously about the importance of the professional regulation of healthcare assistants (HCAs). The government has made it clear that while educational standards for HCAs will be developed and implemented, there will be no professional regulation.

This is a missed opportunity with consequences which will be revisited many times in the years to come. HCAs will continue to practice in an unregulated way and the protection of the public will rest with the supervising professional. The accountable professional is normally a registered nurse. In the community, I have always been concerned about this, from the HCA's and the nurse's perspective.

My concerns were validated this week by a example from practice. An HCA working in a GP surgery was asked to administer infant immunisations. The HCA had no training to undertake this work but would be operating under the direction of the registered practice nurse who is trained to do this work. I am concerned the GP considered this acceptable practice, regardless of whether or not the nurse agreed to supervise the work.

Would the GP ask the HCA to do the immunisations if they were directly accountable for the work of the HCA? If it were their professional registration at risk, when babies in their practice were being immunised by someone who had no formal training or assessment of competence in understanding immunology and the administration of immunisations? As regulated professionals, we know we must operate within the boundaries of our competence. If competence is decided by another professional and they accept accountability for your work, it may engender a reliance on the knowledge of others when providing critical care.

If HCAs are to be provided with an educational structure to support professional practice, development and career progression, why not ensure they can be fully, independently accountable for their work by introducing regulation?

Crystal Oldman, chief executive,Queen's Nursing Institute

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.