Category Archives: Training

News Training

Recommendation for Healthcare Assistant Training

An independent report conducted by Journalist Camilla Cavendish has found that there is no minimum standard of training for healthcare assistants before they can work unsupervised.

Ms Cavendish found that HCAs were given no “compulsory or consistent” training, and said some were doing tasks usually performed by doctors or nurses, such as taking blood.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ms Cavendish suggested that HCAs should have to earn a “Certificate of Fundamental Care” that could link HCA training to nurse training, making it easier for staff to progress up the career ladder, should they wish to. Furthermore, she said that new recruits would need to obtain the certificate and existing HCAs would need to prove they had the equivalent training.

Ms Cavendish said details of the training had not been agreed, but it would include basics such as first aid, people handling training skills infection control and dementia awareness, and would take a “couple of weeks”.

Currently, there is no consistent qualification or training for HCAs, with employers deciding for themselves what training is needed.

Peter Carter, of the Royal College of Nursing welcomed the report but had some concerns that without mandatory checks, staff found unsuitable could move between employers unchecked. He said that “The priority must now be to underpin the recommendations made by Camilla Cavendish in the regulatory structure which governs care”

Christina McAnea, of Unison, said that in some hospitals HCA’s were treated as “cheap labour” before adding that “Common training standards across health and social care are long overdue and welcome.”

The government is expected to provide a formal response to the review in the autumn. It has already promised to establish “minimum training standards” for HCAs by spring 2014.

For full details on this story please see

Advice Training

Advice for Walking on Snow and Ice

Snow on ground

As we draw deeper into winter we are possibly going to be faced with the unpleasant task of attempting to stay upright whilst walking on snow and ice. Many home care workers walk their care rounds and the elderly and less able-bodied people we care for are particularly vulnerable to falls when snow and ice are on the ground. So below are some useful tips to read and pass on:

  • Concentrate on walking, do not use your mobile phone or read directions whilst on the go – keep a constant look out for icy patches.
  • Wear sturdy shoes with a non-slippery sole (avoid a leather sole) trainers or walking boots are best for gripping. Ice grips that are worn over shoes can also be very helpful and worth considering if you are doing a lot of walking in these conditions.
  • Walk slowly and purposefully, putting your weigh flatly and firmly down in front of you as you go. Do not run for any reason.
  • Take short steps, not long strides and lean very slightly forward rather than walking erect.
  • Do not put your hands in your pockets, keep your arms extended and slightly out for balance (a bit like a penguin and they should know how to walk in snow!). Wear gloves which will keep your hands warm discouraging you from putting them in your pockets but will also offer you protection should you fall.
  • Try to avoid carrying bags if you can particularly over one shoulder which will alter your balance.
  • If you do fall, try and relax your body and ‘roll into’ the fall if possible. If you fall backwards tuck your chin into your chest to avoid banging your head full onto the floor.
  • For older people it is worth considering hip protectors as fractures to this area are very common, although in reality a bulky, padded overcoat will offer reasonable protection as well.

There is a very good reason why weather forecasters advise us against making journeys when it is snowy and icy – it is dangerous – so take care out there.

Kate Lovett

Senior Trainer

Edge ServicesThe Manual Handling Training Company


News People Handling Training

Are You Ready for ‘Ofsted’?


In order to address what he describes as a ‘crisis in care’, Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is to propose a new ratings system for hospitals and care homes similar to the Ofsted system that rates schools. Since the previous system, which awarded up to three stars to reflect the quality of service, was abandoned in 2010, providers have had only to meet Care Quality Commission-set minimum standards. Critics have suggested that such a system does little to promote improvements.

A study by think-tank the Nuffield Trust will consider the newly proposed ratings system and publish its recommendations in March 2013. Trust Director, Jennifer Dixon, agreed that: ‘It’s a sensible question to ask about how the quality of care is assessed in health and social care providers, given all the systems currently in place to boost and monitor quality for the public… We look forward to doing an independent analysis of this issue working with a range of groups across the health and social care world in the UK, learning from past experience, from other sectors and from other countries.’