This new role provides promising carers with the opportunity to develop their skills to support Registered Nurses. It was developed as part of an industry-wide initiative in consultation with the Royal College of Nursing, The Association of Directors of Adult Social Care and Care England.
After successful completion of the 12-week structured programme the CHAPs will undertake routine procedures for which they have been assessed as competent, working under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. These could include, for example: taking and recording of temperature, blood pressure and respiration; moving & handling assessments; administration of simple dressings; administration of medication and prescribed nutritional support; pressure sore prevention.
To be accepted for the training programme, Care Assistants require the National Vocational Qualification in health and social care at level 3. Carers who have NVQ level 2 may be considered provided they commit to achieve NVQ level 3 within 12 months. Tim Hammond, Chief Executive of Four Seasons Health Care, said: “The Care Home Assistant Practitioner will support our nurses in routine procedures, allowing them more time to focus on personalised care planning and the management of clinical care for residents who have a higher level of need. It will enhance the capability of our care teams through training and mentoring and provide opportunities for care staff to progress in their careers.
“This innovation is part of a wider programme to provide great care and improve our residents’ experiences. Central to this is our sector leading “Quality of Life” Programme with iPads in our homes, linked to purpose designed software systems, so that at any time residents, their relatives and care professionals can give us instant feedback about any aspect of our care.”
Four Seasons Health Care expects eventually to train over 1,000 CHAPs for more than 340 homes.