The Government has recently published a report on improving the training of healthcare assistants (HCA) – a crucial issue as these important staff provide an increasing amount of direct patient care.
There have been many previous initiatives to improve HCA training but without a proper system for registering these staff, national standards have proved hard to guarantee.
That’s one reason why the Francis Inquiry into the appalling failings at Mid Staffordshire Hospital called for the registration of HCAs. Unfortunately the Government has ignored this recommendation.
The Francis Report also called for national minimum standards on staff numbers and skills mix on hospital wards and a duty of candour on all individual registered staff to ensure they are open with patients if things go wrong and so hospitals can learn from their mistakes. Again, the Government has ignored these key recommendations.
If the Government is serious about improving the safety and quality of patient care it must implement the full Francis Report, not adopt a ‘pick and mix’ approach. You can read more about this story here and here.