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Archive for the ‘Continuing healthcare developments’ Category

All Healthcare Assistants to Undergo Universal Basic Training

Posted on: July 11th, 2013 by admin No Comments

A new independent report published this week has revealed plans to ensure that all frontline healthcare assistants undergo the same basic training before being able to work unsupervised.

The report showed that there is no universal minimum training standard for healthcare assistants, which has led to a disjointed level of care being provided.

The author of the review, Camilla Cavendish, said: “There are more care assistants than nurses working in England. Many of us will rely on them at some point in our lives, in particular in old age, and we need them to be as good as they can possibly be – especially as some support workers are carrying out procedures which used to be done by nurses, even doctors.

“I have seen many examples of excellent and skilled care, but I have been struck by how disconnected the systems are. The airline industry figured out 30 years ago that the most junior staff could be a critical link in the passenger safety chain. Patient safety in the NHS and social care depends on recognising the contribution of support workers, valuing and training them as part of a team.”

Ms Cavendish commented that: “For people to get the best care, there must be less complexity and duplication and a greater focus on ensuring that support staff are treated with the seriousness they deserve – for some of them are the most caring of all.”

The disjointed care being delivered has been linked to the variation in training that people receive before being allowed to work unaccompanied as a health care professional.

Ms Cavendish commented that: “For people to get the best care, there must be less complexity and duplication and a greater focus on ensuring that support staff are treated with the seriousness they deserve – for some of them are the most caring of all.”

The independent Cavendish report has made a number of recommendations to tackle the problems around the training and support received by carers in different settings, whether care homes, hospitals or home care environments.

The report recommends that to combat the variation in training, and therefore level of care offered, it would be ideal to introduce common training standards of care.  This ‘Certificate of Fundamental Care’ would link health care assistant training to nursing training.

This will not only improve the care offered but also lead to opportunities for care workers to progress into nursing and social care.

Dr Peter Carter, The Royal college of Nursing chief executive, has stated: “With a rising population of older people, this is a workforce without which the NHS could not function.”

There has, however, been some opposition to the Cavendish report’s recommendations.  Noel Williams of Blue Ribbon, an individual health and social care provider, has criticsed the report: “The introduction of a new certificate will become yet another financial issue for owners of homecare agencies and may also cause resistance from the workforce.“

Personal health budgets to be rolled out

Posted on: December 7th, 2012 by admin No Comments

The roll out of personal health budgets has been announced today by Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb.

A personal health budget is an amount of money given to someone, to help them design a package of care support from clinicians and others, giving them more control over the nature of the treatment provided.

Personal health budgets have been piloted at 20 in-depth sites for the last three years, and an independent evaluation of the pilot programme published today has found that:

  • People’s quality of life had improved
  • If half of the people eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare chose to take the offer of a budget, this could imply a potential saving of around £90 million
  • The amount of times people had to attend hospital decreased overall

Read the evaluation report on the personal health budgets website

The benefits seemed to be felt more strongly by people with the highest health needs. As a result, the rollout will initially target those who are currently getting NHS Continuing Healthcare. By April 2014 up to 56,000 people on the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme will have the right to ask for a personal health budget. It is also hoped that clinical commissioning groups will offer a personal health budget to more people with a long term condition who may benefit.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:

“Independent analysis has now shown that personal health budgets can put people back in control of their care and make a significant difference to their quality of life. It’s inspiring to hear the human stories of success that these budgets have brought to people.

“The evaluation shows that those with the greatest needs benefit most from personal health budgets. That’s why we are giving people on NHS continuing healthcare the chance to get one first. And, I hope more people who could benefit will be given the option of one.”