Stacey Provan, nursing assistantSince the summer, some of our new nursing, midwifery and Allied Health Professional staff have been taking part in the care certificate programme. Following the Francis Inquiry, the resulting report (Cavendish 2013) found the preparation of employees for their roles within care settings was inconsistent. One of the recommendations was the development of the care certificate which were introduced to ensure that nursing support workers have the required values, behaviours, competences and skills to provide high quality, compassionate care. This is now an expectation by the Care Quality Commission.

Maggie Maxfield, lead nurse for training and development, said: “Since September 2014 we have been providing all new nursing and midwifery assistants with this training otherwise known as the five-day fundamentals of care programme. From April 2015 the care certificate replaced both the common induction standards and the national minimum training standards, underpinned by our world class care values.”

The care certificate is a national education certificate which aims to provide clear evidence to employers, patients and people who receive care and support that their nursing assistant has been trained and developed to a specific set of standards.  

The programme is demanding and requires applicants to attend the full five day course as well as completing patient handling training and basic life support, group work and discussions and meetings with a designated assessor who supervises, supports and assesses them within their work area. 

Maggie continues: “The response to the programme from nursing assistants, managers and speakers has been overwhelmingly positive. Speakers are very engaged and report that the nursing assistants are really passionate and interested."

So far more than 150 members of staff have attended and completed the programme with many more applicants registered over the coming months.

Stacey Provan, nursing assistant on day surgery at the Royal Free Hospital, has been at the trust for eight months and can’t recommend the course highly enough. She says: “I previously worked at a nursing home for two years and although I had knowledge of many skills, the programme has given me so much more confidence to carry out everyday tasks on the ward.

“As a new starter I had to complete the programme and although I had previous experience, within five days I had learnt so much more. I had great support also from Maggie who was very reassuring throughout.  

“Although there is a lot of work to complete, the time flew by as it was really interesting. Now it’s over I feel more than ready to carry out what I have learnt on the ward and feel much more at ease to assist the nurses."

Image: Stacey Provan, nursing assistant


Notes to editors

About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read 'A bigger trust, a better future'.