Healthcare assistants taking over nursing roles to save money
- 06 Nov
NHS patients are receiving an "unacceptable" level of care from a growing army of unqualified healthcare assistants who have taken over nursing roles on wards and in care homes due to budget cuts.
Putting vulnerable patients in the care of well-meaning but "unreliable" nursing assistants raises "serious concerns about public protection", a commission led by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, the Liberal Democrat peer, says in a report published today.
Healthcare assistants are employed for simple tasks like keeping patients fed and hydrated or taking their temperature, but are not currently trained to spot warning signs such as dehydration or rapid changes in body heat.
The report recommends training all healthcare assistants to at least NVQ level three - the non-academic equivalent of A-levels - to tackle the "widespread concern" about their growing presence on wards and care homes.
The report says:
The commission finds it unacceptable that staff whose competence is not regulated or monitored are caring for vulnerable citizens.
It is equally unacceptable that registered nurses must take responsibility for supervising colleagues on whose competency they cannot rely.
The report was commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing, to examine the training system for nurses amid concerns about their competence and attitude following a string of "stories of appalling care and mismanagement".
Figures released last month revealed that 43 hospital patients had starved to death and 11 died of thirst due to failures in the most basic levels of care on hospital wards, while 78 died from bedsores.
The report raises concerns over the regulation of unqualified staff after NHS managers claimed the new demands on nurses will force them to rely more heavily on unqualified healthcare assistants for basic care.
Previous studies have found a direct link between a lower proportion of registered nurses and a worse quality of care, and concerns are such that the Royal College of Nursing has led calls for systematic training and regulation of support workers.
Lord Willis said:
The registered nurses now are doing more highly specialised tasks and it is not good enough to say someone else can do those basic nursing tasks, they are not just add-ons.
You really have to have people who do not just put food in front of someone, but understand the significance that a patient takes food and hydration. It is not good enough to simply know how to do something, you have to know why you are doing it.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/230593
- 25 May
CARE HAS IMPROVED CONSIDERABLY IN ENGLAND
Almost three fourth of 372 care homes rated inadequate in 2014 and still operating have improved.205 care homes have improved from a low rating to requiring improvement, 68 are now rated good and 99...
- 24 May
NHS ADJUSTMENTS TO BUDGET CUTS
NHS trusts which have been previously rated good or outstanding will not be inspected as frequently as before, but those rated as inadequate will be regularly visited by the CQC.The Guardian reports...
- 19 Mar
Government to inspect if housing can reduce NHS costs
In the Budget document the government have said it's looking at the ‘cost-effectiveness of options to integrate spending around some of the most vulnerable groups of people.' This includes...
- 15 Oct
End of life patients are lacking support
The charity has found that almost 92% of NHS clinical commissioning groups do not provide round the clock telephone helplines, reports the BBC.Guidelines say there should be 24-hour telephone...
- 15 Sep
Social care is being limited due to council cuts
ADASS are warning that cuts are making the care system "unsustainable" with charities saying hundreds of thousands of people are struggling without help, even though the government says councils have...
- 17 Jul
Young people should not be placed in B&Bs says MPs
The Commons Education Select Committee has said that B&B accommodation is "threatening and frightening" and should only be used in emergency situations reports the BBC.MPs say that young people...
- 16 Jul
Special measures system designed to improve failing care homes
A scheme similar to special measures of hospitals will be introduced for care homes and home care agencies next year, ministers will say, reports the BBC.This will cover 25,000 services and could...
- 14 Jul
Research says that one in three Alzheimer's cases can be prevented
The research says that the main risk factors of Alzheimer's is lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education, reports the BBC. Alzheimer's Research UK said age was still the biggest risk...
- 10 Jul
NHS boss says those with vulnerabilities need joint health and care budget
Simon Stevens wants to see older people, those with disabilities and people with serious mental health problems given joint pots from the NHS and council-run social care services, reports the...
- 17 Jun
Council falters in reviewing autistic man’s care plan
According to Community Care:"The ruling was made by the Local Government Ombudsman after the man's mother complained that his physical and mental health deteriorated in the two-year period after...
The Welfare Reform Act: Universal Credit, Sheltered and Supported Housing The content was concise and to the point. The content was relevant to our service, and gave us a better us a better indication of were stand with upcoming changes. Rosie Kaur - Panahghar