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When this Corona Virus crises is over the health service in this country is likely to be in a more troubled state than it was going into the crises.  There will be longer waiting lists of patients to see consultants; longer lists for screening and diagnostic tests, for surgery, greater numbers on trolleys and higher numbers awaiting discharge to step down services and to their homes.   Corvid 19 is here to stay just like HIV, influenza, meningitis, yellow fever, Zika virus and many more.  We did ourselves proud, as one HCA from Kerry said “we didn’t run away”.   We faced the danger while being ignored by the authorities in the early stages.   We had no protection such as PPE, that began to come later when they realised that older people might be vulnerable.   HCAs will continue to be on the lowest end of the priority list unless we speak up for ourselves

There are up to 80.000 healthcare assistants, trained and untrained working across the healthcare sectors.  There is no national standard of training, registration or regulation for HCAs although we have been working in this country in great numbers since the 1990s.  In some cases, our working conditions are appalling and pay is minimal.

It is time for change and it is we, ourselves who must raise our voices.   Nobody else seems to care.  The system cannot operate without us.  There will be a great increase in the numbers of elderly in the next 15 years, we will be expected to look after them, and we will do so gladly but we must be trained, regulated and paid if these elderly people are to receive the highest standard and safest care.

The Alliance of Health Care Assistants (AHCAI), our representative body has a number of free courses on its website for members.   Take a look at these and get an idea of what we mean by training.  We are also working on a two-year apprenticeship training for HCA at higher education level 6.  We will work to have a standard training for those who want to continue with their current duties.

Write to us on >< and let us know how you see your future as an HCA.


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