By Debbie le Quesne

Care home nursing shortage: One way to move forward

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A new report this summer by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is suggesting that supporting senior care workers to become nursing assistants could tackle the shortage of nurses in care homes.

The report adds the initiative would also “improve the quality of care for residents and support career development and retention.”

Currently care home provider HC-One’s is embracing a Care Assistant Development Programme (CADP) which has received RCN accreditation and consists of blended face-to-face and e-learning, ongoing assessment, and mentoring support from a qualified nurse.

SCIE’s independent evaluation of the programme found the following:

  • Retention rates are high – with a 97 per cent completion rate
  • Nursing assistants say the programme prepared them well for their new roles. The nurse mentor role is a valuable element of the programme, with 89% of nursing assistants surveyed saying they felt supported by their nurse mentor
  • Residents receive greater consistency of care, more person-centred care and a more timely and response care due to increased capacity across the home
  • Early communication with residents and qualified nursing staff can alleviate any concerns or confusion over the new role.


The SCIE evaluation report, which was commissioned by HC-One, says: “In the first year of its implementation our [SCIE’s] evaluation findings paint a positive picture overall of a well-planned programme that continues to be refined and developed.

“The overall learning and development package is regarded as a key programme asset and nursing assistants rate their training highly as preparing them for their role. The face-to-face learning and development programme in particular was highlighted for providing a quality learning experience.”

HC One developed the Care Assistant Development Programme with the help of the Royal College of Nursing in response to the acute shortage of nurses in recent years.

I’m all for career development and increasing the perceived value of our carers. Let’s hope this programme can be duplicated elsewhere, but I fear it’s for the big boys only. Don’t suppose the Government would think about funding such a programme. Didn’t think so.


Written by debbielq

August 22, 2016 at 9:04 am

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