I am distressed about the idea of solving the horrors of Mid Staffs and potential future problems by suggesting that nurse training must be prefixed with a year as a health care assistant.

I am an ex nurse who is well retired but can also say that I am well tuned into the current situation as I am a volunteer with my local hospital, a member of my PPG and also attend Clinical Commissioning Group meetings .I am also an active member of my local voluntary community as well being involved with setting up our local Healthwatch. So I can say I am an active citizen.

Nurses have a very valuable status and are a respected profession. To go to university and get a qualification has changed the status of the profession and quite rightly They are now doing work that junior doctors used to do, so leaving much of the” hands on” work to an unqualified well meaning task force. Giving the unqualified health care assistants competences is one thing, but what do they do with the result of that work? They do not understand what the consequences are for example a raised  blood pressure recorded but they could be unaware of implications for the patient if not reported So the result may be left on the chart without being acted upon.

So I show my age and ask why we demean the future of nurse training by suggesting that they would have to do a year on the wards.??? Student nurses spend a large proportion of their training time on the wards now.

State enrolled nurses used to be a valued part of the ward team who were trained to a lower non graduate level and why have they disappeared? Patients in hospital now are there for shorter stays and many have more complex needs, so they deserve good quality care from qualified competent staff. I am sure it would be agreed that the patient deserves that quality of care and trained personnel. We would of course have to pay more for SEN’s who delivered care for the patient and in a time of reducing budgets –well need I say more.

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