Understanding career development and progression from a healthcare support worker perspective. Part 1/2

Ian Kessler, Nicole Steils, Anita Esser, Dawn Grant

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The healthcare support worker (HCSW) has long been an essential part of the nursing workforce (Stokes and Warden, 2004). However, as an unregistered worker increasingly at the frontline of care delivery (Kessler et al, 2012), the learning and development needs of HCSWs are an important issue for policymakers and practitioners. This was evident in the wake of the Francis Inquiry Report (2013) into the tragic care failures at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust in the late 2000s. In raising workforce issues, this report prompted the independent Cavendish Review (2013) into health and social care support roles, and its recommendation, widely taken up by NHS trusts, to introduce the Care Certificate as an essential part of HCSW induction (Thomson et al, 2018). An interest in HCSW learning and development was further taken forward by Health Education England (HEE) (2014a) in its Talent for Care Programme, the first national strategic framework for the training of clinical, as well as non-clinical, support workers. Indeed, this agenda has most recently been framed by the NHS Long Term Plan and People Promise and strengthened by the formulation and implementation of Level 2 HCSW (Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IATA), 2021a) and Level 3 Senior HCSW (IATA, 2021b) apprenticeship standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526
Number of pages531
JournalBritish Journal of Healthcare Assistants
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2021


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