Certificate helps boost care skills

Posted: April 1 2016

A community healthcare assistant has honed her basic skills to increase the level of care she can provide patients.

Certificate helps boost care skills

Care Certificate presentation, from left: Rachel Somers, Olive James, Healthcare Assistant, Jacqueline Chalkley and Clare Hawkins, Director of Quality and Governance/Chief Nurse.

Olive James has completed the national Care Certificate – one of the first employees to do so at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust – a programme developed by Skills for Care and Skills for Health in response to the Cavendish Report.

Olive, from Letchworth, began working for the Trust in September 2015. She had basic caring skills from a previous career such as washing, dressing and cooking meals for an individual, but no other qualifications which would allow her to progress.

She said: “The Trust introduced me to the Care Certificate when I first started and explained that I would need to meet a set number of standards as part of it.

“Until I had completed this I could not work on my own as healthcare assistant and would work in line of sight of someone else in the team.”

The programme runs for 12 weeks covering 15 standards, which anyone using health services would expect staff who are caring for them to have. These include:

  • Understand your role
  • Your personal development
  • Duty of care
  • Equality and diversity
  • Work in person centred way
  • Communication
  • Privacy and dignity
  • Fluids and nutrition
  • Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disabilities
  • Safeguarding adults
  • Safeguarding children
  • Basic life support
  • Health and safety
  • Moving and handling information
  • Infection prevention and control.

Olive said: “Some of these standards were met as part of my induction and others are evidenced based when working with patients.”

Olive was assigned an assessor, Rachel Somers, and co-assessor, Jacqueline Chalkley, members of the Trust’s Integrated Community Team, who assessed her progress and competence.

Rachel said: “This has been a great opportunity for Olive to gain the skills she needs to progress in her career and to improve the care she gives to our patients.

“We hope the Care Certificate will attract more people into nursing support roles.”

Olive added: “I am very grateful to the Trust for allowing me to complete this programme.  I aim to gain more qualifications including NVQ levels to progress further.”

Clare Hawkins, Director of Quality and Governance/Chief Nurse at the Trust, said: “Congratulations to Olive on achieving her Care Certificate. I hope her positive experience encourages others to join the Trust and to participate in this development opportunity.

“Healthcare assistants are essential members of our teams. Olive finds her work personally fulfilling and I am sure she will inspire others.”

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