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Regulation needed for healthcare assistants

20th December 2011

The Royal College of Nursing has called for the government to improve its regulation of healthcare assistants in England.

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While MPs have given their approval to the future introduction of a voluntary regulatory system.

However the RCN said this was not stringent enough and have released a petition with 2,500 signatures which calls for better assessment.

The RCN said as healthcare support workers are part of patient care, they should be assessed in the same way as nurses and midwives.

To support their stand, the College has gathered together frontline nurses and suport staff to sign a petition asking for the regulations to be improved.

The petition has been given to MPs at the same time as the House of Lords is involved in debating the Health and Social Care Bill.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter stated that compulsory regulations would also make sure healthcare support staff had the correct knowledge to do their jobs properly.

He added: "Anyone who is responsible for delivering care should be regulated and accountable for their actions."

The government published its plan last month to introduce a voluntary code of conduct and training standards for support staff by 2013. 

MPs have said that because support staff are supervised and have to undergo the usual criminal records and job history checks, there is no requirement for compulsory regulations. 

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