Healthcare assistants at risk through lack of training

A recent independent report has highlighted a worrying aspect with regard to Healthcare Assistants within Britain.[1] This is that there is no minimum standard of training before they are allowed to work unsupervised. The obvious risk being that without the proper training how are the healthcare assistants supposed to provide the required care towards their patients that they are employed to supply.

The Cavendish Report, authored by Camilla Cavendish was authorised by the Government after there were serious care failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS trust. Her main point that she wished to put forward is that there should be a common training standard that any HCA has to attain before they can look after patients unattended. As it was discovered that many HCA’s were performing duties that were usually performed by doctors or nurses (for example taking blood).

If you are a HCA you shouldn’t feel that you have to perform tasks that you believe you are not qualified or trained to do, especially if you are unsupervised. The fear many HCA’s could have is what would happen if they were to make a complaint to their line manager about the health and safety issue that patients could face due to their lack of training. If you do make a complaint about the lack of training and it’s effect on the health of patients you are potentially making a qualifying disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998[2].

This means that if you suffer any detriment, be it bullying by other members of staff, unwarranted disciplinary action or generally making your life miserable because you complained, you can potentially take action due to your whistleblowing. You are also protected from being dismissed because a dismissal based on whistleblowing is an automatically unfair reason for dismissal. This is because the disclosure you made to your line manager or other superior is about the health and safety of an individual which is being or likely to be endangered. Therefore protecting you from dismissal because of your action.

If however you are dismissed because of it you can make a claim for unfair dismissal via the employment tribunals. These can be stressful times for the average employee and it is in these situations that a firm of solicitors could be just what is needed.

The solicitors who work for Do I Have A Case are experienced employment law solicitors who can help deal with any issues that arise because of any whistleblowing you may have done. If you have been dismissed or are being mis-treated please don’t hesitate to call us on 0800 014 8727 and we will be more than happy to discuss it with you.