Healthcare Assistants Development Programme

Developing the Role of the Health Care Assistant

In recent years the role of the Health Care Assistant (HCA) has grown into an independent role, taking on more challenging and advanced clinical skills and responsibilities.

In July 2013 the Cavendish Review, (An independent review into the Health care assistants and support workers in the NHS and social care settings) stated that “if you want to improve patient care it should see the Healthcare assistants as a critical strategic resource.”

The DHSC took this advice on board and has been working with the HCA Forum to develop the role of the HCA and care support worker on the Isle of Man.

The Health Care Assistant Conference

The initial conference was held in 2015 for all Island HCAs and support workers, the message from the conference was that “Together we can make a difference” the HCA’s were addressed by Dr Malcolm Couch (CEO), Linda Radcliffe (Chief Nurse) as well as representatives from the Royal College of Nursing.

At this conference the Chief Nurse, Linda Radcliffe pledged her support for the role of Health Care Assistants and care support workers and committed to an annual conference as an opportunity to celebrate achievements and to develop the team.

This year’s HCA Conference is to be held on Thursday, 12 September 2017.

The Health Care Assistant Forum

HCA forum - Chief Nurse

Is organised and run by HCAs for HCAs, meeting bi-monthly the HCA forum is made up of Health Care Assistants from all sectors, including private nursing and residential homes, Acute Service, Primary Care and Mental Health reinforcing the message that “Together we can make a difference.”

The forum exists to give HCAs a voice on topics that affect them in their role, recent agenda items have included the Code of Conduct, the Care Certificate, the HCA induction programme, the HCA competencies and the proposed Nursing Associate Role.

For more information regarding the HCA Forum, please contact forum chairperson 

IOM Code of Conduct for Senior HCAs, HCAs and Support Workers

The new code of conduct has been prepared by the HCA Forum and is to be adopted in all areas of the DHSC. This will allow patients/service users to have continuity in the care standards delivered by all HCAs.

The Care Certificate 

The Care Certificate is a nationally recognised award that has been adopted by the DHSC to ensure that every HCA meets the minimum care standards. The Care Certificate is made up of 15 standards and follows a work book and mentorship programme.

IOM Care Certificate Logo

The 15 Standards are:- 

  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 

On completion of the work book each Health Care Assistant will be invited to a presentation to receive their certificate.

Health Care Assistant Induction Programme

TrainingFebruary 2016 saw the launch of the new HCA 4 day induction programme; this programme is for all new starters to Noble’s, Ramsey District Cottage Hospital and Mental Health Services. It is run monthly and is facilitated by Noble’s Hospital Corporate Nursing Team. The programme is delivered by Senior HCAs in partnership with Specialist Nurses. The programme was prepared in consultation with the HCA Forum and consists of fundamental nursing skills, such as personal care as well as mandatory training, such as moving and handling and basic life support.  It also gives staff the opportunity to complete elements from the Care Certificate workbook.

Health Care Assistant Mentorship Programme

For the first time, Senior HCAs have been able to complete a mentorship training programme, so that they can mentor other HCAs through both the Care Certificate and the Competency packages. The programme empowers Senior Health Care Assistants to develop in their own role and be able to support others to do the same.

QCF Awards Level II and III

Health Care Assistants in the DHSC have the opportunity to complete Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) levels II and III (formerly NVQ) through Keyll Daree.

For more information regarding the QCF levels please contact Voirrey Kewley QCF Co-ordinator

Health Care Assistant Development Programme

HCA Mentorship Programme image

The HCA Forum has recognised that each HCA deserves recognition for their hard work and commitment to developing and providing high quality standards. The forum has designed a badge recognition system that will be awarded to HCAs as they move through the development opportunities. These badges are set to be launched in September of 2016.

HCA Care Certificate Badge This badge will be awarded to HCA's who have completed the Care Certificate and the relevant competency package for their area.
HCA Level 2 Badge This badge will be awarded to HCAs who have completed the relevant competency package and hold a QCF/NVQ level II
HCA Level 3 Badge This badge will be awarded to HCAs who have completed the relevant competency package and hold a QCF/NVQ level III
HCA Higher Level Badge This badge will be awarded to HCAs who have completed all the previous requirements and the HCA Mentorship programme and who actively mentor, support and educate other HCAs.

The badge recognition system is hoped to be a way of celebrating achievement, increasing morale and having a visual recognition for other colleagues as to the level each HCA is at. It is hoped that this will improve care standards by giving a morale boost to HCAs but also encourage them to develop their skills and work towards the higher badge.

Anyone who would like any further information on the Health Care Assistant Development Programme should contact Kealie Fee at in the first instance.