Support for healthcare assistants

HCAs are a growing workforce in primary care as the workload increases with a corresponding need for skill mix. Until fairly recently, HCAs have not been given the recognition, training and supervision which they deserve. That is changing as numbers increase and reports highlight the importance of providing a quality workforce with patient safety at the centre of care.

In Lambeth we have trained all our HCAs and most are having clinical supervision. We do not recommend that anyone embarks on work as an HCA without adequate preparation as it could put our patients at risk.

If you are thinking of moving into this field and want to know more about the role, training and supervision then you can contact Paula Marsden at

Care Certificate

This is seen to be mandatory for new HCAs and is essentially a 12 week induction programme. It covers 15 standards:

  1. Understand your role
  2. Your personal development
  3. Duty of care
  4. Equality and diversity
  5. Work in a person-centred way
  6. Communication
  7. Privacy and dignity
  8. Fluids and nutrition
  9. Awareness of mental health, dementia and learning disabilities
  10. Safeguarding adults
  11. Safeguarding children
  12. Basic life support
  13. Health and safety
  14. Handling information
  15. Infection prevention and control

There is an accompanying workbook which has been adapted for primary care.  A similar course for experienced HCAs is under development. There will be workshops  in 2016 to increase awareness of the Care Certificate.

Nurse Associate role

In 2015, the Government announced plans to develop a new nursing support role, and a consultation was launched. The outcome of the consultation is now available on the Health Education England website.


Royal College of Nursing

Care Certificate