Health Care Assistants

Key People:

  • Clinical Skills Coach/Practice Placement Facilitator:

    Lisa Tritton

The Clinical Education department offers education to support the development of Health Care Assistants within the Trust, enabling them to complete the Care Certificate and develop skills and knowledge to support their roles within clinical areas.

This can be achieved by taking part in the 5-day knowledge and skills programme, as well as the BEACH course to aid the recognition of a deteriorating patient. 

Guidance on Completion of the Care Certificate

All Nursing Assistants/Health Care Support workers must have completed the Care Certificate. Although it is NOT an accredited qualification, this identified set of standards should be adhered to in the daily working lives of all health and social care workers when caring for patients. It is designed to give everyone confidence that these workers have the same introductory skills, knowledge and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe and high quality care and support.

With regards to completing the Care Certificate, please follow the guidelines below:

A) Experienced nursing, midwifery assistants and healthcare support workers who have worked in the Trust for more than a year (or have completed a NVQ level 2 minimum)
  • 1) Print off the ‘Self-Assessment Tool’
  • 2) Using this document, complete a self-assessment. This is a simple tick box exercise. Ensure you produce evidence in your portfolio to support that you have met ‘Good’ or ‘Adequate’ ratings against each standard. You may cross reference to materials gained from study days/courses or complete the attached ‘Reflection on teaching sessions’ form and place these in the portfolio as evidence of learning.

  • 3) Once complete, this should be presented with the portfolio to your Care certificate assessor who must be an ‘occupationally competent’ healthcare professional relevant to yout role. Eg. Registered Nurse, Midwifery, Physiotherapist, Occupational therapist, etc.

  • 4) It is the responsibility of the assessor to look at the self-assessment tool and portfolio to verify that you meet the minimum standard of ‘good’ or ‘adequate’.

  • 5) If satisfactory, the assessor must complete the form entitled ‘Verification of ‘Self-Assessment’ Document’ and send this to Clinical Education. On receipt, the ‘Care Certificate‘ will be awarded.

B) New nursing, midwifery assistant and healthcare support workers who commenced in the Trust less than a year ago, OR anyone who has NOT been able to evidence that they meet all 15 standards of the Care Certificate after attempting the ‘Self-Assessment Tool’
  • 1) Print off the ‘Workbook for Care Certificate’
  • 2) New nursing assistants/healthcare support workers are expected to complete the Care Certificate within 6 months of commencing within the Trust. They may cross reference to materials gained from study days/training sessions and/or complete the attached ‘Reflection on teaching sessions’ form. These should be placed in the portfolio as evidence of learning.

  • 3) ‘Experienced’ nursing assistants/healthcare support workers, who did NOT reach the required standard when completing the ‘Self-assessment tool’ must complete the ‘Workbook for Care Certificate’, collecting evidence of learning as stated above.

  • 4) Each completed standard must be shown to an assessor of that standard, who should sign off that area if they believe the member of staff to be competent.

  • 5) Finally, the completed ‘Workbook for Care Certificate’ and Portfolio should be presented to the line manager, who should complete the final ‘sign off’ page and send this to Clinical Education. On receipt, the ‘Care Certificate ‘will be awarded.

Documents for completion of the Care Certificate

HCA 5-day Programme

The 5-day programme for Health Care Assistants runs three times a year and includes core knowledge and skills, which support the completion of the Care Certificate. As well as the acquisition of skills and knowledge which enable the individual to give good quality care in the clinical area.

The course covers a range of topics that are generic to healthcare assistants working in the many different clinical environments within the Trust and is delivered by Specialists in these areas.

It also includes the BEACH (Bedside Emergency Assessment Course for Healthcare Assistants) – please see separate section for details.

It is recommended that all HCA’s who are new to the Trust undertake the course within 6 months of commencing employment, to assist with the completion of the Care Certificate. Existing staff who are undertaking the Care Certificate would also find the course helpful to support the completion. 

BEACH (Bedside Emergency Assessment Course for Healthcare staff)

This one day course acknowledges that healthcare assistants and unregistered healthcare staff have an important role in the delivery of care, and may be the person who has the most frequent patient contact.

These staff members are often required to undertake monitoring of vital signs and the course enables individuals to recognise when a patient is sick or deteriorating, deal with a sick or deteriorating patient and know when to call for help. The aim of BEACH is to help the Healthcare assistant to identify and provide early treatment for any patient whose condition is deteriorating and be confident to get help.

The course at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust includes an aspect of simulation to support the learning within the course. This allows staff to put the skills learnt into practice in a safe environment.

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