In 2013 I was privileged to be involved with work completed by Camilla Cavendish, commissioned after the Francis report, in which she reviewed the roles of health and social care staff across the country. This work exposed the huge disparity in the experience and preparation of care staff as they provided care to people, often at a very vulnerable time of their lives.
Cavendish recommended that there should be agreed standards to set care staff on the road to a career in care. These standards needed to be based on fundamental care provided in health and social care settings. There was a requirement to provide not only the theory associated with this care but to ensure that these workers were assessed in practice to ensure that they had the skills and knowledge before they delivered care. This became the template for the development of the Care Certificate.
During 2014 I was asked to lead a small group of talented health and social care experts in developing the Care Certificate. This group included representatives from Skills for Health and Skills for Care and utilised the skills and knowledge of a far larger network, focusing on existing good practice. The final product is a testament to the work completed by these people, providing standards designed to be used by both health and social care organisations as part of the induction of their staff.
The development of the Care Certificate provides an opportunity to clarify the importance of effective induction and preparation of health and social care support staff. This toolkit, developed with support from St Christopher’s Hospice, sets out simple steps to ensure that this preparation is completed rigorously for the benefit of the learner and those that will receive care in the future.