Auxiliary nurse training – a dog’s breakfast


Posted on January 25th, by geoff in CT blog. 3 comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

In December the Government reneged on a commitment to fund a programme designed to equip care workers with the skills to perform a variety of clinical nursing tasks, withdrawing the promise of £178,000 at the eleventh hour.

Perhaps there was a good reason for this; but as far as I know none has been given. It does shed some light, however, on the dog’s breakfast that is what I am going to call “auxiliary nurse training”. Ever since the nursing profession fell prey to the intellectual snobbery of tertiary training and was lured into the universities there has been a steady decline in the numbers of clinically-skilled people at the coalface.

A myriad of initiatives have tried to address this – Elizabeth Care (from whom funding was untimely ripped) is one of many. Several big corporate care providers are now training their own auxiliary nurses, to reduce their dependence on the registered variety and trim their overseas recruitment budgets.

The process, however, seems to lack clear direction – there is some uncertainty around accreditation. Many, in both the acute health and social care sectors, pine for the days of the Enrolled Nurse, and with good reason – they were, on the whole, a group of very professional and clinically capable people.

It would be a simple matter for Government and the Royal College of Nursing to reinstate a system similar to the one we had for Enrolled Nurses. Wouldn’t it?

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.




3 responses to “Auxiliary nurse training – a dog’s breakfast”

  1. Roger Wharton says:

    Geoff, Forgive me if I have got it wrong or misheard but Alistair Burt, Minister for Community and Social Care mentioned last week that new non-university nurse training has been approved in response to the rising demand for and diminishing availability of degree level nurses?

  2. Same old story. Too many ivory towers, vested interests, heads in the sand and politicians who do not understand or care and ,as you say ,the intellectual snobbery that has denied access to a nursing career for thousands of young men and women who would once have been the backbone of the nursing sector. And, of course, no individual or nursing body is honest enough take responsibility for a course of action that was flawed from inception and recognised as such by so many of us in the sector. No doubt those who were responsible will soon be enjoying their (inflated) pensions in the silk and ermine world of Westminster.


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