The professionalisation of our Care Services

As part of National Customer Service Week, Sharon Bye, Director of Care, has shared her thoughts on the professionalisation of care services within the sector to mark today’s theme which explores the importance of professional development.

A professional approach to care

All too often, care services are represented as the “poor relation” of the NHS. While there’s been a drive to professionalise nursing, with the introduction of nursing degrees, when compared to health care professionals, care services are perceived by some as the “Cinderella service”. We know, however, that the reality is very different to this.

Services that are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) like our care homes managed by C&C in London and Enham Trust in Andover are some of the most highly regulated in the country. There is now a very clear emphasis on mandatory training and moving to a more professional approach. This recognises the skills needed to operate within the care sector.

What this means for our care colleagues

Anyone moving into care work for the first time must achieve something called the Care Certificate within six months. For many, gaining this achievement allows them to secure a permanent role.

Care colleagues across the Aster Group are also supported  to achieve nationally recognised qualifications through Health and Social Care Diplomas.

We ask all care colleagues to be willing to work towards an HSC Diploma Level 2, and Team Leaders to achieve Level 3 as a basic qualification. In order to become a registered manager with the CQC our leaders who don’t have a recognised management or social care qualification (e.g. nursing, social work or post graduate management qualification), undertake, as a minimum, an HSC Diploma Level 5.

Care colleagues also complete a whole range of ongoing mandatory and supplementary training to demonstrate their competency to practice within CQC-registered services. These cover both training that is specific to the type of service being offered and the potential health issues faced by our residents.

For colleagues who administer medication, there is a stringent mix of training, assessments and many other training courses for specific delegated healthcare tasks.

Safe and effective service delivery

The drive to recognise the professionalism of care colleagues includes continuous professional development for everyone. The objective for this of course must always be to ensure that we offer safe and effective services for our customers. So in reality, just like our colleagues in the NHS, care workers within CQC-registered services complete a vast array of training which reflects the complexity of needs our customers present with, and I’m proud of the work they do.

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