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  • 25 April 2013
  • 3 min read

Cameron defends proposals for HCA year during nursing course

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  • Matt Farrah CEO

David Cameron recently attended an interview at the BBC to defend the government's proposals to make student nurses spend a year as HCAs with the implication that there aren't enough caring skills in today's nurses.

If you regularly follow our articles here at, you’ll have seen our report on the government’s new decision that contemporary UK nursing needs a solid injection of care.

It is thought that today’s nurses aren’t able to give enough emotional and personal support to their patients and, as such, they need to really start focusing on interpersonal skills.

In order to do this, student nurses are now going to be required to spend a full year of their academic study training in basic care skills working as healthcare assistants.

The Royal College of Nursing have made no bones at all about what they think of this idea, pronouncing it “stupid”.

David Cameron spoke to the BBC on Monday to defend the new proposals, acknowledging that they were ‘controversial’.

This comes after several recent health care scandals such as the Mid Staffs hospital, subsequent Francis enquiry and the proposed closure of the Leeds Hospital children’s heart surgery unit following concerns of alarmingly high fatality levels.

Actual nurses in the actual industry or sound is treated with this measure; Andrea Spyropoulos, president of the Royal College of Nursing, pronounced this a ‘waste [of] taxpayers’ money’.

The general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, Peter Carter, challenged the idea the government seems to hold of nurses spending all their time in university, noting that they spend at least 50% of their degree hours in wards actually practicing what they learn.Industry leader responses to the government’s attitude towards today’s nursing issues resoundingly focus on a lack of sufficient staffing.

The BBC reports that 71% of 2000 senior nurses surveyed could not say they were confident that nursing levels were adequate and a further third of these felt nursing levels were unsafe on a weekly basis.

Both Unison and the RCN have made calls for minimum staffing levels to be set; an option by Francis Inquiry put forward as an option for tackling the kinds of misery experienced at Stafford Hospital.

What do you think? Tweet us or write on our Facebook wall – do you wish you’d had more time working as a HCA during your nursing degree?

About the author

  • Matt Farrah CEO

Helping healthcare organisations attract and retain the best staff so they can deliver great patient care. Advice

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  • Matt Farrah CEO

About the author

  • Matt Farrah CEO

Helping healthcare organisations attract and retain the best staff so they can deliver great patient care.

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