The British Journal of Healthcare Assistants asked 385 HCAs if they thought they should be on a formal register and 93 per cent said they should – with 67 per cent saying they would willingly pay the annual fees. This flies in the face of what the government said following a recommendation by the Francis inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS trust. The issue was dismissed as nothing more than a pointless box-ticking exercise.
Ministers reckoned that registering around 1m HCAs would be a massive task with limited gains – and it would not be fair for someone on such a low wage to be made to fork out for annual registration fees. The government’s alternative was to introduce minimum training standards and a code of conduct.
The Department of Health said: “Setting up a register would be a bureaucratic tick-box exercise. We are tackling this issue at its root, focusing on making sure healthcare support workers have the right training, values, support and leadership to provide the high-quality care that patients deserve.”