Hospital staff in Southport and Ormskirk have helped develop the national Care Certificate to support the training of healthcare assistants and support workers.
The Care Certificate meets concerns raised in the Cavendish Review that followed the inquiry into the quality of care at the former Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
The review found formal support and education for healthcare assistants and social care support workers was inconsistent. A common national qualification was needed to assure the public that all those who provide care achieved a minimum standard of training.
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust was one of 13 health and social care organisations that was asked to pilot and report on the effectiveness of a care certificate to NHS England.
Nicky Williams, Assistant Matron Nurse Education and Training, said: “Healthcare assistants found working towards the Care Certificate hugely useful, not least because it underpins our values as a supportive and caring organisation.
“The certificate developed their confidence and improved job satisfaction. They also felt better supported, learning more about what good practice looks like and gaining the confidence to challenge poor practice if they saw it.
From April 1 2015, every healthcare support worker new to the NHS will need to pass the Care Certificate. The Trust is also considering incorporating the certificate into training for other health care support workers.
Nicky said: “The care porters give can be overlooked in a clinical environment like a hospital but they play an important role in comforting and putting patients at their ease.
“We wanted them and our patients to benefit from the Care Certificate, and a small group of porters and domestic staff took part in the pilot. Those who did said it made them feel more valued as part of a team and helped everyone understand people’s different roles.“
Nicky added “I am proud of the NHS and Southport and Ormskirk trust, and the staff I have worked with while piloting the Care Certificate who are a credit to themselves, the organisation and the teams they work in. Their enthusiasm, commitment and desire to make a difference is something to be celebrated.”
Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive, said: “Caring is everyone’s business in our Trust. Whether you are a porter, a nurse or a member of the domestic team, thanks to the Care Certificate they will be empowered to play their part fully in making sure patients are safe and properly cared for.”
Picture shows Nicky Williams, Assistant Matron Nurse Education and Training, left, and Carol Fowler, Matron Performance and Standards, with some of the staff who took part in the Care Certificate pilot