Recommendation 207

Uniform description of healthcare support workers

Accepted in principle
There should be a uniform description of healthcare support workers, with the relationship with currently registered nurses made clear by the title.

This is a complex issue as healthcare support workers carry out a number of different tasks in varied roles, so a uniform description can be difficult. The Cavendish Review recommends that once health care assistants and health care support workers complete a ‘Certificate of Fundamental Care’, they should be allowed to use the title nursing assistant, where appropriate. The Chief Nursing Officer has agreed to lead the work around this recommendation which should be understood as part of the wider desire to develop career development to simplified job roles and core competences framework linked to the career development framework.


Taking account of the range of allied health professionals with whom Healthcare Assistants work, the Chief Nursing Officer is planning to release guidance in 2015 on appropriate titles for people who hold the Care Certificate. This guidance will follow the Shape of Caring review, which is being chaired by Lord Willis of Knaresborough and is due to report in in early 2015. There are no plans for any similar guidance for staff working in social care.