Guidance on the Health Care Assistant role in Primary Care

Published on 16 Mar, 2017

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Training providers for Health Care Assistants

Health Care Assistants (HCA) are a valuable asset to the Practice Nurse Team. Their role enables the practice nurse to work with more complex areas of primary care. It is important that HCAs have training in their specific duties and regular in-house assessments. It is always the responsibility of the onsite qualified nurse to ensure the safe and appropriate workload of HCAs.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) provides the following guidance and gives clear guidance and initial steps to becoming an HCA and how this can work in General Practice. The Nursing and Midwifery Council code states…..

Be accountable for your decisions to delegate tasks and duties to other people. To achieve this, you must:

11.1 only delegate tasks and duties that are within the other person’s scope of competence, making sure that they fully understand your instructions

11.2 make sure that everyone you delegate tasks to is adequately supervised and supported so they can provide safe and compassionate care, and

11.3 confirm that the outcome of any task you have delegated to someone else meets the required standard.

Local colleges run NVQ qualifications for HCAs to receive background knowledge and be assessed externally. For an example of local courses click here.

Training providers for Health Care Assistants

Phlebotomy training

Courses are run by York Hospital occasionally. Training can also be provided in house and assessed by a qualified practitioner.

Ear irrigation training

Training is provided via

Dopplar after training (without interpretation of results)

Doppler training example It is up to the practice to ensure this covers all areas required. There is often localised training run by the Tissue Viability Nursing Team or dermatology to no cost to the practice.

ECG training

This can be delivered as in house training with a specific machine. Health Care Assistants must have up to date basic life support training.

Spirometry training (without interpretation of results)

The University of York can provide information on current and future training opportunities.

Training to administer injections of vitamin B12

Local courses are available that cover vitamin B12 and influenza injections.

NVQ qualifications in health care

York College offer part time courses for HCA in General Practice which are assessed in and out of practice and, depending  on the size of the practice, can be free or partially funded.