This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Read the latest issue online

A faulty production line

Partners told to provide training for all new health care assistants from March

GPs are being warned they should ensure they have provisions in place to train health care assistants when new regulatory measures come into place in March.

The Care Certificate was developed in the wake of the Francis enquiry to ensure standards in HCAs, including phlebotomists, whose training isn’t regulated through another professional body and addresses 15 ‘competencies’ covering infection control, safeguarding and dementia and cognitive issues.

It should be completed within 12 weeks of new HCAs entering the role, and LMCs advise there are e-learning resources to allow training and assessment to be conducted in house.

Health Education England says care certificate training can be delivered internally be a staff member with the appropriate competency to deliver each element of the training, and e-learning can also be used. This can be created by the practice as long as the meet the required delivery standards, or can be brought in from a third party.

GP leaders say it is important for partners to understand their responsibilities around certification as the practice must maintain a record and this forms part of the CQC’s essential standards on inspections.

Dr Nigel Watson, chair of Wessex LMCs, who is also filling in for his practice manager this year, told Pulse: ‘You suddenly become acutely aware that, from now on, you need HCAs who have got certification. I suspect the managers are clued up, certainly in our area, but I expect the GPs have no clue whatsoever.’

He added: ‘GPs should be aware of their responsibility, which is even more acute with CQC and things, so if they’re employing staff to undertake those roles they’ve got to make sure those people are appropriately qualified.

‘You do need to have time to train these people, which actually means there’s a bigger market for recruiting people who are qualified to do it.’

The certificate replaces and extends the requirements of the National Minimum Training Standards and the Common Induction Standards.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Dear patients,

    I'm sorry if you are unable to see me or the HCA for the next few weeks at the surgery. This is to ensure we comply with the latest waves of regulations conservative government are placing. In the mean time, if you feel ill, please do not hesitate to refer yourself to NHS111 or in emergency, AED.

    Best regards

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Not a particularly exciting "GPs should"- more of the common or garden variety really.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Great another group of health workers where we are trying to create a recruitment issue.

    More and more tick boxes do not improve care!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Dear All,
    lets get the language right. This certificate IS NOT a legal requirement. The guidance document itself says " As some of these roles would be very different in health and social care it is up to the individual employer to decide whether the Care Certificate is appropriate".

    There is no legal requirement to use or implement this certificate, it is not mentioned in the HSCA. GPs are required to deploy and employ safe staff but this certificate, just as with all those other mythical must have certificates is voluntary. It may be very helpful and uselfull as a template but no clipboard hugger can force you to use it.
    Paul Cundy

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • HCAs should train themselves, I train myself. Get their own evidence and their own governed appraisal. I'm not doing the dirty work for the government to reduce future scandals.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Junior earn far more than a HCA will ever earn and have had a University Education. You are a member of the GMC . Do remember any HCAs you employ in general practice are working in a delegated I am afraid you do have a responsibility to ensure they are trained properly. . Patient safety?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • After NHS through their PCTs have haemmorhaged GPs services by sending most of them to collaborating GMC Tribunals to the guillotine, are they not expecting the impossible.Or will they they just exhaust the remaining GPs to despair and resignations and Poverty to follow.This comes out for trying to follow the vocation of Medicine in The UK

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I have unfortunately been on the end of a self taught HCA who when observed could not accurately take blood pressure, measure someones height document data and understand the importance of accuracy, told patients drink water to lower cholesterol, and that sugar had nothing to do with diabetes that it was the glucose..
    The are many who are very competent, so why be afraid to accredited for a job well done.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I was talking to my dentist brother last night. A few years ago, the GDC decided to regulate not just dentists but also dental nurses and hygienists. This has resulted in a 55% rise in annual retention fees for dentists of £790 per year. How long will it be before the GMC follow this path? The difference between the BDA and the BMA is that the former have a back bone and are taking the GDC to court for the extortionate fees and fitness to practice hearings taking 18 months. The BMA could learn a few things from the BDA.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say