Health Education England (HEE) has released an action plan in response to last year’s report into how nurse and care assistant training could be improved given their expanding roles.
The plan, ‘Raising the Bar: Shape of Caring’: Health Education England’s response, highlights five priorities including ensuring “meaningful patient and public involvement”, which the HEE says will require skilled management to guarantee their voices are heard.
The report also lays out the HEE’s intention for excellence in nursing practice, valuing and developing the care assistant workforce, ensuring meaningful patience and public involvement, flexibility in pre-registration education and standards for post registration education.
While many of the recommendations are directed to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), HEE stresses in the report that attaining quality is a “collective responsibility” that extends beyond frontline staff.
The response was drawn up after a series of engagement activities between the HEE and care assistants, registered nurses and all health and social care stakeholders.
While patient and public safety and health were a priority for all respondents during these activities, there was also widespread support from managers for a new band 4 role that would act as a bridge between unregulated care assistants and registered nurses.
Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, director of nursing and deputy director of education and quality at Health Education England said: “The review and our stakeholder engagement exercise stimulated real debate about the future shape of training for nursing and care staff. We have listened to the views of a wide range of people including patients and representational groups and healthcare providers.
They were clear that they wanted high-quality education, placements and life-long learning to help support them deliver individual, focused training that meets patient need.
“This is a real opportunity to deliver real change and I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in this exercise.”
The initial review of the education and training of nurses and care assistants, released in March 2015, set out 34 recommendations under eight themes.