Annual Report 2019
We have had quite a successful year overall. In June our application for registration as a charity was accepted by the Charities Regulator. Our constitution was edited to comply with their regulations and can be viewed on our website.
We held an AGM on 1st July 2019 at which the annual report and financial reports were read and signed by the directors.
Our administrator, Deearne Mitchell decided to accept no more payments but rather to work on a voluntary basis for which we are most grateful.
AHCAI was invited to take a stand and speak at the Nursing Homes and Carers Conference for the second year. Some valuable contacts were made but the conference was not well attended.
AHCAI has produced a code of practice which we encourage our members to adopt in the interest of raising standards of practice in working with care recipients. The code is to be found on our website.
Two more CPD courses were added to the members section of the website.
A very successful first conference was held in February 2019 in Dublin. We had a range of speakers including a very interesting and informative presentation from a care recipient on what it was like to receive care and how it affected her. Two HCAs working in a residence for deaf people spoke about working through the medium of sign language and gave us a demonstration. Jonathan Murphy spoke about the progress of the Apprenticeship Program, Michael Harty gave us information about being self-employed as an HCA and we had a talk on how to be an advocate from Helen Fitzgerald of SAGE Advocacy. As we are a national organisation, we will hold a conference in each region in turn. Our plan is to hold our next AGM and annual conference in Cork City in 2020.
In preparing for our 2020 conference in Cork we have made some valuable contacts in the Munster region. We engaged two interns from CCT business school in Dublin to help us advertise the course and recruit members for the organisation.
Patrick O’Connor, a valuable member of our board of directors has decided to resign from the board. He has given a number of years to us on a voluntary basis for which we are extremely grateful. Our constitution, company and financial structure were set up under his guidance. He also guided us through the process of achieving charitable status. Patrick has offered to continue to work with us as our accountant.
Jonathan Murphy has agreed to replace Patrick in managing our bank account. The forms making this change will be completed and signed at the AGM
We continue to contribute to the work on the two-year Apprenticeship Course for Healthcare Assistants. The documents are ready to go to QQI for accreditation and it is hoped to have the course up and running later this year. The title of those who graduate from this course will be Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner.
AHCAI’s long-term objective is to have this advanced group of HCAs regulated with a national scope and code of practice, and a code of ethics, creating a unique and respected discipline which will work alongside other practitioners as a key part of the health care team. HCAs will continue to work to the Registered Nurse (RGN); they will never replace nor erode the role of the registered nurse, but complement and support it instead. In doing so, they may help to improve the working conditions of nursing colleagues and enhance patient care, which is ultimately the goal for all.
Developing this second step on a career path for HCAs will improve recruitment and retention because the system will have to recognise and respect the HCAs for the vital role they play in the healthcare system. It will be a career that school leavers may consider taking up.
Our vision over the next number of years for the current HCAs who carry out personal care is that they will have a national standard of training without which they will not be permitted to work as an HCA. We aim to seek registration for them with a central governing body.
As an organisation we need to increase our membership to a representative number able to speak for all HCAs in the process of developing their discipline.
Our sponsors for 2019 were Abbott Nutrition, Home Care Plus, Comfort Keepers, Roches Pharmacy and for their support we are most grateful.
Registered Charity No:116067 Not-for-Profit Company Reg: 572079
Anne Marie Lee