Practices must offer clear pathways for healthcare assistants

GP practices should offer clear career pathways for healthcare assistants (HCAs), delegates at this year's Royal College of Nursing (RCN) practice nurse conference were told last week.

Kate Howie
Kate Howie

Paul Vaughan, the RCN’s healthcare assistant advisor, warned that the only way practice nurses could deal with their increasing workload was to attract more HCAs into general practice.

Practice nurses will take on more and more work from GPs and eventually most will be expected to work extended hours, said Mr Vaughan.

‘The Wanless report said that 70% of GPs’ work could be delegated to general practice nurses. If you are going to get 70% of their work, where the hell is your work going to go?’ he said.

Mr Vaughan said practice nurses should ensure HCAs can progress up the various skill levels outlined on the DoH’s national career framework.

Practice nurse association chair Kate Howie told practice nurses to offer more placements to pre-registration nurses in the hope of recruiting nurses from secondary care to the profession.

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