Support workers could take on leader roles

The CSP is calling for support workers to have a greater role in clinical leadership, as part of its response to a government review of the role of healthcare and care assistants.

Submitting its evidence to the Cavendish review, the CSP said support workers were often closest to patients, were seen as approachable, and had good local knowledge.

‘They therefore have a valuable contribution to make into decision making and ensuring continuity of care and service improvements,’ the CSP said.

‘The best settings ensure that there is a support worker voice in decision making about patient care. This is not happening in most services at the moment.’

The Cavendish review is chaired by journalist Camilla Cavendish, associate editor at The Sunday Times. It is looking at how the training and recruitment of support workers can be strengthened.

The CSP said there was an ‘urgent need’ for investment in the training, development, and supervision of health and social care support workers.

CSP associate member officer Catherine Smith said: ‘There is a long-standing tendency for support workers’ education needs to be overlooked and poorly resourced by employers.’

The CSP also told the review that it was extremely concerned about government proposals to make would-be nurses work in support worker roles in order to secure funding to take a nursing degree.

This could undermine efforts to raise standards of professionalism among support workers, it warned.

Graham Clews

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