According to a report in today's newspaper health pages, there is concern about the quality of care on hospital wards and care homes due to the lack of training provided for healthcare assistants, and calls for them to be trained to NVQ standard. Some of the 'basic tasks' that nurses once performed as part of their job are now done by 50,000 'low-paid and unregulated' healthcare assistants.
One of the concerns is that while healthcare assistants can serve patients food and ensure they're hydrated, they're not trained in spotting the symptoms of dehydrations or changes in a patient's body head. According to the Telegraph's article on this story, there have been deaths from starvation, thirst and bed sores.
The report, which was commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing, had this to say:
The commission finds it unacceptable that staff whose competence is not regulated or monitored are caring for vulnerable citizens.
We'll cover more on this story in time to come - and hopefully the training spoken of in the report will be devised and implemented soon.