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Unqualified NHS staff

184 replies

Jammydodgerr · 14/10/2022 09:39

How would you feel about the NHS using unqualified members of staff in a nursing role?

This is being floated at our local hospital, North West region, and it makes me feel really uncomfortable.

What are your opinions?

OP posts:

bottleofbeer · 14/11/2022 23:42

Although some band 4's in my role are better and more knowledgeable than the 6's.

I'm not one of them, heh.


Booklover3 · 15/11/2022 00:36

This is in part why I left the NHS. More and more responsibility with no recognition or extra training. It felt very unsafe at points and when the shit hit the fan you could never get hold of senior staff. They were too burned out themselves. This was in community projects by the way so no other staff nearby.

With extra training, support and some recognition yes. Just lobbing them in at the deep end, no.


Booklover3 · 15/11/2022 00:42

^^ Jesus I’ve just realised I’m still quite bitter about it.

The NHS just needs more band 2,3,4,5 and 6’s full stop. There’s never enough staff. I left several years ago now but I know it’s got worse :(


HollaHolla · 15/11/2022 00:50

theres not a chance that universities (and in Scotland, NHS Education) would approve nursing students losing supernumerary status. Also, given we can’t get about 1/2 of the first years to pass their numeracy/drug calculations, I wouldn’t trust them to practice alone. Do you want to be on the receiving end of the treatment of an under-confident 17 year old?


Missdiva · 15/11/2022 07:49

bottleofbeer · 14/11/2022 23:40

In every other trust, my role is band 5. But my trust don't want to pay band 5 wages.

I'm called a nursing associate. It's a very niche role. When I know a person is Ill and above my skill set, I escalate to a band 6 as that is the next band up in my job. I'm not expected to do anything above my paygrade or knowledge. Band 4s aren't entirely useless 😆

In every trust I’ve worked in nursing associates are band 4. Becuase that’s what they are not yet a nurse they can top up and become a nurse if they like, they can do a lot of what a nurse does just not usually all of it. The last year of a degree to be a nurse is pretty important.

that being said band 4 whether you’re an AP or NA on a ward are very useful as are HCAs wards wouldn’t run without them all together.
this post is about untrained doing trained jobs and as a NA you are a trained individual as you are on the NMC register.

as far as I understand your level of qualification is essentially a foundation degree (completed the first 2 years of a degree essentially) and a top up would then be a degree allowing you to register as a nurse rather than a NA.


EmmaAgain22 · 15/11/2022 07:58

Do you mean like the auxiliary nurses we used to have? They were excellent. I think someone from school went straight into that but obvs he had training.


x2boys · 15/11/2022 08:04

Burgoo · 15/10/2022 20:36

I've had mixed feelings about this. They have eroded what it means by having a nursing PIN by allowing band 4 level associate nurses to enter the register. From my experience they are glorified health care assistants and yet they are being used to do all sorts of clinical tasks (injections etc). Way to degrade the profession. That is not a knock-on health care assistant, they are wonderful AND at the same time they simply haven't the knowledge base or experience to make decisions that are rather important. I say that as a former care assistant!

At the same time, the NHS is screwed. They have 100,000 vacancies and no end in sight. They need to get bodies into jobs, and this is the one thing that has actually been helpful in filling roles.

The main problem is that it is the RNs that have overall accountability if they delegate tasks, and it goes wrong. This puts MORE pressure on RNs who are already massively burnt out.

Im not a nurse anymore but my understanding is that a nursing associate is similr to what an enrolled nurse was ,enrolled nurses were being phased out when i sarted my nurse training in the early 90,s ,they had two years training and could do many nursing tasks ,medication ,injections ,care plans etc ,but they didnt have overall responsiblity unl8ke the registered nurses .


CaronPoivre · 15/11/2022 08:18

There are many, many unqualified staff in NHS. Also many roles filled by staff with a lower level qualification than those they are covering. A creeping reduction in qualifications for certain tasks - is arguably increased specialising on one very small aspect of a role. Nurse endoscopists, for example. Endoscopy used to be exclusively a doctors role but many are now carried out by nurses.
Nurse practitioners can now prescribe when previously it was a doctors only role in primary care. Ambulance support assistants rather than paramedics on emergency ambulances.

Generally it’s fine but not without some risks. More complex or unusual conditions may not be understood or managed as well without the underpinning theory. Some people will have a lesser service - people with a fractured leg may not get pain relief from the ambulance crews if there is no paramedic. A rare fibrotic lung condition may be dismissed as asthma and progress.

The advantages are more staff providing some access (usually reasonable) to services and treating more people. More enthused and motivated staff retained in jobs they prefer. The big benefit is cheaper healthcare, albeit with less qualified or unqualified staff.


bottleofbeer · 15/11/2022 10:26

My band 4 is a very, very niche role within the NHS. I'd say what it is but it would he very putting! The same job in other trusts is band 5. I genuinely don't know why!

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