Council acclaims pilot to retrain home care staff for nursing role

Gloucestershire Council is retraining home care assistants to do
some of the work of community nurses writes David Craik.

The new community care workers will undertake tasks such as
taking urine samples, dressing simple wounds and dealing with

As the new role is pitched at NVQ level 3 rather than level 2,
the council hopes to improve recruitment and retention.

The role, developed with the Cotswold and Vale primary care
trust, was piloted by the palliative care team at Stonehouse, near
Stroud. The team of eight is led by a nurse and supported by a
social services home care organiser.

Vareta Bryan, assistant director of community services for
Stroud, said: “As well as the traditional home care work of getting
people up, washed, dressed and toileted, helping them prepare
simple meals and putting them to bed, they also carry out clinical

“We have a problem recruiting home care workers in this region
because of the area’s socio-economic profile and not many young
people are coming through.”

Since the pilot, 12 community care workers have been

Bryan said the new position offered good career prospects for
home care assistants and could be a route into social work or
nursing. “It offers a real career progression for them. They will
receive training in dementia and rehabilitation skills.”

Most of the recruits are from domiciliary care. “The role really
is for people with NVQ Level 2 experience,” said Bryan. “But we
hope to attract more of the public into the home care role now that
there is progression there.”

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