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Scots regulation of assistants could be blueprint for the UK

Scottish health boards are trialling a system of employer-led regulation for healthcare assistants that could be adopted across the UK.

CSP assistants officer Catherine Smith told the conference that schemes piloting the regulation system in three Scottish health boards and one private hospital began in September, following a delay.

The pilots will assess a set of induction standards for healthcare support workers, a code of conduct for assistants and a code of practice for employers, all drawn up by the Scottish government health directorate.

Once support workers can demonstrate they are meeting the induction standards they will be asked to sign a declaration to commit to working to the code of conduct, and will then be placed on the registered list.

Ms Smith told the conference that the 14-point code of conduct for staff covered areas including assessment of risks, incident-reporting, building customer relationships, managing themselves as a resource, and whistle-blowing in cases of abuse.

The three NHS boards – Lothian, Ayrshire and Arran, and Lanarkshire, - and the independent Ross Hall hospital in Glasgow will be assessed against the employers' code of practice through peer review.

It requires them to ensure that assistants are able to meet the requirements in their code of conduct, and to provide training and development opportunities. A report on the pilots is due to be delivered in December 2008.


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Graham Clews

Issue date

21 November 2007

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