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Introducing the Care Certificate evaluation

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Topics: 
approaches to dementia care, carers, dementia awareness, education and training

Health care assistants and social care support workers play a central role in front line care provision.  For not only are they are usually the first point of contact for those in receipt of care, they also deliver around twice as much of this care as registered nurses, including many of the complex roles formerly undertaken by these nurses. They are also growing in number with over 300,000 new carers commencing work in health and social care organisations each year. Due to demographic trends towards an ageing population, these numbers are likely to progressively increase, particularly in the specialisms of older age and dementia. Policy makers have responded to these challenges with national strategies such as the National Dementia Strategy, aiming to improve the delivery of front line care. In spite of this, front line practice is still often characterised by inconsistency and the common adoption of depersonalised and task centred approaches. These inadequacies have been exacerbated by assumptions that nothing can be done to improve the wellbeing of people with dementia or that being a good carer is all about innate characteristics and common sense rather than something that can be acquired through training. In addition, in spite of the widespread advocacy of key concepts such as person centred dementia care, there has been a lack of clarity on how it should be implemented in practice and on what resources are required in order for this implementation to be achieved.

In recognition of these issues, increased attention has recently been given to the training needs of the front-line care workforce by policy makers culminating in the Cavendish Review in 2013.  The review called for the introduction of a Certificate of Fundamental Care – now called the ‘Care Certificate’ and recommended that all new front line care workers should achieve this before working unsupervised. The Care Certificate, sets out 15 standards that are required to provide safe, effective and compassionate care. As such, it aims to promote a consistent approach to staff training and induction and encourage improvements in career development pathways and the safety and quality of care provided by care organisations. Although not mandatory, as from April, 2015, it is now expected to form part of training for new recruits to care organisations in England with the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia suggesting, in 2015, that all newly appointed care staff should undertake this training. In order to optimise its impact, the implementation of the Care Certificate is now being evaluated in an 18-month study funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme. It broadly aims to assess how successfully the Care Certificate meets its stated objectives and to explore areas for improvement. Follow this link to find out more:

https://www.institutemh.org.uk/research/projects-and-studies/completed-studies/evaluating-the-care-certificate/

 

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