MEETING DATE:             ITEM NO.

 Membership and Representation          12 September 2012         12/34(d)

Title of paper:                         Report back from HCA/AP
                                        Committee and team

Presented by:                           Tanis Hand (HCA Adviser) and
                                        Lorraine Hicking-Woodison (Chair
                                        of HCA/AP Committee)

1.     Purpose

1.1.   To update the Membership and Representation Committee on the
       current activity of health care assistants (HCAs) and assistant
       practitioners (APs).

2.     Background

2.1.   This paper describes the work of the HCA/AP Committee and HCA/ AP
       team since June 2012 and highlights key HCA and AP issues.

3.     Governance

3.1.   There are four nominations for the heath practitioner seats on Council.
       Voting opened 1 August to 14 September and candidates will take up
       office after the AGM in October.

3.2.   Nominations for the HP committee are expected to open in September
       2012, with members taking up office on 1 January 2013.

4.     HCA & AP Committee

4.1.   The committee met on 6 July 2012 and it was agreed that Congress
       was a great success, being held over three days and with some joint
       events with RCN Students.

4.2.   The Chair and Vice-chair informed the committee of the events they
       have been speaking at. Lorraine (Chair) has spoken at several HCA
       events and has also written to Ed Milliband re HCSW regulation.
       Richard (Vice-chair) has been running PNP workshops in the NW

4.3.   All members reported on their activity locally and were encouraged to
       keep recruitment high on their agendas.

4.4.   Graham Scott and Frances Pickersgill from Nursng Standard met with
       the committee to seek topics for future issues of the HCA and AP

4.5.   The remainder of the meeting was spent planning Congress 2013 and
       a similar format to 2012 was agreed, with workshops for students,
       HCAs and APs discussed and to be shared with the Student committee
       later in the year.

4.6.   The final meeting of the committee in its current format will be held to
       coincide with the “Let’s Talk about Pain” conference on 12 October.

5.     RCN congress

5.1.   Plans are under way for Congress 2013 with a similar format to 2012.

6.     Recruitment and retention

6.1.   Membership numbers have increased to 11,731 (Aug).

6.2.   The Ashridge report is complete and the results have been discussed
       with a team. Recommendations will be discussed with Peter Carter and
       taken forward as part of the HCA and AP recruitment strategy for 2013.

7.     Regulation of health care support workers

7.1.   The Skills for Health and Skills for Care project to produce codes and
       standards for health and social care workers has been extended to end
       Jan 2013. The HCA Adviser sits on the steering group and working
       group for this project. A joint response to the consultation has been
       produced by the RCN, RCM and Unison and will be posted on the
       RCN website.

7.2.   The online consultation on this work closed on 7 September and a
       series of focus groups with frontline staff will be held in October and
       November. The RCN English regional offices are hosting focus groups
       which will be facilitated mainly by SFH staff or the HCA leads in the

7.3.   It is proposed that the codes and standards will be used by the Council
       for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE) as a framework for
       potential voluntary registers in 2013.

8.     Hard copy magazine and HCA issue of Activate

8.1.   A second ‘election edition’ hard copy magazine for HCAs and APs was
       sent out with voting papers on 1 August. Feedback so far has been

       excellent and it is hoped that this initiative will be taken forward as a
       regular issue, possibly in line with the twice yearly Student magazine.

9.     External input

9.1.   The HCA Adviser is involved in a Sanko EU project exploring the roles
       of support workers in European countries with a view to making
       recommendations on standards and training for this group of workers
       in the EU.

9.2.   The HCA Adviser met with the UK project lead, together with Matthew
       Hamilton (Policy & International Dept) on 16 July. The aim of the
       meeting was to identify key issues that may be taken forward as
       recommendations for the project, and these include standardization of
       training and education and HCSW regulation. The next meeting is in
       October and both Tanis and Matthew will be attending.

10.    UK-wide/four country perspective

10.1. All HCA Team activity is inclusive of regional and four-country issues.
      The HCA Adviser is currently visiting each of the regions and countries
      in order to raise awareness of HCA and AP issues and to learn about
      the local situations across the UK.

10.2. The HCA Network and Committee has regional and four-country
      membership to ensure that the HCA/AP voice is heard across the four

11.    Strategic plan

11.1. The HCA and AP strategy meets the following strategic goals:

          Build a membership organisation which values both the professional
           and trades union functions, and whose power is enhanced by their
           working together.

          Embrace the wider nursing family, furthering strategic activities in
           our membership make-up, our networks, and with employer

12.    Recommendation

12.1. The Membership and Representation Committee are asked to note this

Tanis Hand
HCA Adviser
September 2012


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