Assistant-practitioner

Exclusive: Senior HCA ‘bridging’ rol

Plans for widespread changes to the way nurses and care assistants are trained are underway, with new standards for a senior healthcare assistant “bridging” role due to be piloted next year.

Student nurses could also in the future have a reduced number of placements during undergraduate training, but be assigned a caseload of patients to follow for longer as they access care across a range of settings.

“There’s an opportunity here to see if there is a core caring role we can have national standards around”

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

A move away from one to one mentoring for student nurses is also being considered in a bid to decrease the large amount of nurse mentors and ensure undergraduates learn from only those who are considered to be “quality educators”.

The “bridging” role was proposed earlier this year by a major review of nursing education and training, which identified a gap in career development between HCAs and registered nurses.

The Shape of Caring review, chaired by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, recommended national workforce planning body Health Education England look into the position, and also whether those that had completed the training for it could then be fast-tracked through a nurse degree.