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Untrained Healthcare Assistants Pose Problems for the NHS

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Peter Carter, the head of the Royal College of Nursing, has spoken out over the use of untrained healthcare assistants in the NHS. Healthcare assistants are traditionally employed to help with a range of basic tasks. These include helping patients to wash and assisting them with feeding. But Mr Carter says that many of them are relied upon to do a lot more than this – despite the fact they are not trained for many of the jobs they undertake.

“Many hospitals employ healthcare assistants as opposed to registered nurses,” said Mr Carter. He also went on to say that while these assistants were much needed within the healthcare system, they should be “properly trained”.

He also pointed out that this did not apply to all healthcare assistants. Some of them did receive proper training in order to carry out all the tasks that were required of them. But this did not apply across the board.

The Department of Health responded to his comments by saying that a Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care will be set up to help ensure that all the healthcare workers are properly trained. However this related to voluntary registers, so it is unclear at present as to how this will work.

Apparently there are many more untrained workers within the NHS now than there were a decade ago. Peter Carter is clearly trying to ensure that the trend is now reversed, for the good for everyone in the NHS.

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