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U.K. carers ask for tougher regulation

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The majority of healthcare assistants in the U.K. want to see tougher regulations in place, according to a survey.

A poll conducted by the British Journal of Healthcare Assistants of 385 staff found that 93 percent of healthcare workers in the U.K. back the idea of registration becoming compulsory, and 67 percent are willing to pay for it.

The healthcare industry in the U.K. relies on assistants who feed, wash and supervise patients. At the moment, no registration is necessary -- but if the move goes ahead, minimum-wage assistants would be required to be on a formal register in order to work.

Compulsory registration was rejected by ministers last month, based on the arguments that creating a register would introduce unnecessary bureaucracy and it was unfair to ask workers to pay for registration. Instead, government officials have recommended that minimum training standards and a code of conduct be introduced.

Healthcare assistants are low-paid workers within the National Health Service (NHS), but as they come into contact with vulnerable and sick patients on a daily basis, compulsory training -- which has just been introduced in Scotland -- seems only rational. There are many who do an excellent job and the NHS system relies upon these workers, so improving their skills and training them to do their roles well benefits the government, too.

Via: BBC

Image credit: Flickr

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— By on April 10, 2013, 11:56 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure