The latest NHS crisis: untrained staff
When you go into hospital you are entitled to assume that the doctors and nurses treating you have undergone a rigorous training and education programme which helps them to provide the best possible treatment for you.
However a report published earlier this month has cast light on a rather large blip in that assumption: the use of unqualified and sometimes untrained healthcare assistants. Of course, all the degrees in the world don’t necessarily make you a caring person but it would be reasonable to expect that all NHS staff have had on the job or vocational training suitable for their role.
The review carried out by Camilla Cavendish at the request of the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has concluded that although there were pockets of excellence, “… overall, training [of heathcare assistants] is neither sufficiently consistent, nor sufficiently well supervised, to guarantee the safety of all patients and users in health and social care” . The report quotes instances of domiciliary care where HCAs were sent into patients’ homes with no training whatsoever.
The problem stems from there being no nationally recognised qualification or training programme for HCAs , and a degree of role creep which has seen HCAs take on tasks which traditionally would be the remit of a state registered nurse, such as administering injections or setting up drips.
The report concluded that all HCAs and social care support workers should undergo the same basic training and earn a “Certificate of Fundamental Care” before they can handle patients without supervision.
The Government has not accepted the report’s findings however, promising only a formal response in the autumn.
As confusion about roles and responsibilities for patient care in hospital was one of the issues raised in the Francis report, it is essential that the Government and the NHS take positive action to enact the recommendations. This is an issue that we see raised regularly by our clinical negligence clients.
If you have suffered due to poor health care treatment and would like some Free legal advice or wish to pursue a No Win No Fee claim, please do not hesitate to contact our Clinical Negligence team on 0808 252 5504.