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Care certificates for healthcare assistants come into force

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Many rely on care assistants Many rely on care assistants

From 1 April, all newly qualified HCAs will be required to complete a Care Certificate within 12 weeks of being employed, under new plans announced by the DH.

The Care Certificate is designed to ensure that HCAs have demonstrated competency and skills in 15 areas, including communication, safeguarding, infection control, mental health awareness, and caring with privacy and dignity.

The Care Certificate was created as a result of recommendations in the Cavendish Review, which investigated HCAs and support workers and was published after the Francis Inquiry into the failings that caused the Midstaffs care scandal. The CQC has said that whether support workers have a Care Certificate may factor into inspections.

Howard Catton, an RCN director who was involved in developing the certificate, said: '[The RCN is] very supportive of the Care Certificate. We have called for improvements to the training of support workers. This is a significant step forward.'

Questioning how the certificate would be achieved, Chrissy Cowan, an associate practice educator and support worker at Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, said: 'The assessment of the standard has to test knowledge and understanding, and performance in practice. It is not enough to know it, they have to be assessed in their workplace. Most of the standards would have to be assessed in practice, but there are some, for example basic life support, which would have to be done in simulation.'

The DH has also advised that the scheme could be expanded to NHS funded student nurses in 2016.

Mr Catton added: 'The Care Certificate for student nurses is a new announcement. While it could be helpful, I think that we need to have a consultation on how it will work before it is introduced.'

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

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This was truly a fascinating point and I kinda concur with what you have said here!
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I have been looking at a couple of your stories and I can state really well done. I will bookmark your online journal
Posted by: ,
The care certificate and NVQ is not enough, competence is not intelligence, people should have a few A levels before even interviewed for work in 'care'
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Hi I work in a general practice and by chance our new HCA started on 1st April, I feel that typical of DH, HEE, etc this has been implemented without any prior notice, support or guidance for the staff who need to implement this new directive, The nursing staff tasked with ensuring compliance with these new guide lines, like myself within our practice, who need the support and guidance have again received none. My Practice Manager and the GP's know nothing about this and I am now burdened with not only enlightening them but also ensuring this new team member gets the full support she needs. I fully champion training and am dedicated to ensuring our new HCA becomes a competent member of staff, but to support her in completing 15 standard in 12 weeks at around 50 pages each while continuing with my usual clinics is unrealistic Regards Helen Farnworth Practice nurse lead and general dogsbody at Stafford Health and Wellbeing
Posted by: ,
Student Nurses are in Training and their care will be assessed within that. This is about Health Care assistants and should stay that way i feel. It is about time that blood taking/cannulation and similar be taught to student nurses within their training too as it is crazy that it is not. Two tier nursing again here though as per usual.
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