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Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Training – is it good enough?

Training – is it good enough?

Quite simply, no.

The Edith Ellen Foundation has its concerns over the standard, quality and level of training Care Home Providers are obtaining to train their staff.

Training currently for Healthcare Assistants is not in the UK regulated, there is no requirement for evidence based training audits and a large proportion of UK Care Homes use this lack of regulation to the disadvantage of their own services and to the detriment of their staff.

Largely, the paperwork for staff training is a “tick sheet” process, if they tick to say it’s been completed no one will check, until in some cases it is too late.

We also have concerns over the Government decision to charge fees to nursing students in England and replace NHS bursaries with student loan.  The Government is gambling on the future of the nursing workforce.

This lack of regulation means that some care homes are cutting corners on their staff training and not giving training the necessary consideration is deserves as a fundamental part of their business.  In some cases, training is based on eLearning modules where there is no personal touch, no ability to discuss or communicate and no possibility of interaction within a group setting.  These elements are in fact essential and key to learning and development more so within the Care Sector where communication on interaction are key skills for developing care staff in the role of dealing with real people, with real thoughts and feelings.

In many areas of training only half of the information is covered and communicated in ½ day training sessions where a full day or more is needed.  An example of such is Dementia Awareness Training, looking at The Alzheimer’s Society they offer a full days training on Dementia Awareness, this introductory skill based course is designed for anyone who comes into contact with people living with dementia and who would like a better understanding of how to support them in their daily lives.  Therefore, why do many Care Providers only provide a ½ day training course on Dementia Awareness, when Dementia is their business and the full day would be of better use to their own staff and services?

This lack of understanding and knowledge for Care Staff is not the fault of the care staff, but when something goes wrong they are the one’s held accountable, they are the one’s finding themselves without the support of their Employer and in some cases finding themselves in an untenable position.  Without this valuable training, The Edith Ellen Foundation do not feel that this is accountability is fair on care staff who find themselves inexperienced at dealing with the complex needs and challenges of a Dementia Patient.

Service Providers are busy protecting their bottom line and profit margins, rather than investigating in the training needs of their employees, and this has already proved to be a fatal decision.

Good, quality training would ensure residents are well cared for by staff.  Staff who have a good knowledge and skills framework invested in by their employer.  Well trained staff would also have the positive of staff retention, which in turn provides the service with consistency and experience in their provision of care.

You often must invest to achieve positive results, and the positive results here would be:
·         a retention of knowledge and skill within their service,
·         a happier workforce,
·         a positive outcome for service users
·         reduced requirement for Agency Staff
·         consistency
·         which could result in a better profit margin (if that’s all that matters)

The interview process would also need to be more robust.  I recently sat in on an interview, where only one question was asked by the interviewer.  This did not provide a satisfactory interview, from the outcome there was no way to know what calibre of staff they would be recruiting.  The Edith Ellen Foundation appreciates that economically it is difficult to recruit good staff, but if the training was there from the beginning then this could be changed so simply.

The Edith Ellen Foundation believes that for Healthcare Workers to be able to work within a Care Home or Home Care setting they need to have the basics already – compassion and communication.  The Edith Ellen Foundation also believes that Care Staff also need to have a formal recognised qualification and Continued Professional Development, that is supported by either a Government Bursary or provided by the Service Provider.

If someone wanted to be a Healthcare Professional and wanted to finance their own training then The Edith Ellen Foundation would support this, and we would also assist the newly qualified Healthcare Professional in securing employment that would match their skill, knowledge and experience.

The Edith Ellen Foundation would like to see, and are campaigning for, a change in legislation to ensure that everyone who works within the HealthCare Industry are appropriately trained for the role they do, that care staff are invested in and continuously.

All, trained through The Edith Ellen Foundation will receive this and will be registered on our Edith Ellen Carers Database which will enable future employers to located their registration and check the prospective employees Training credentials.  The Edith Ellen Carers will also receive up-to-date training and refreshers.
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