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Helpcare Project

Helpcare Project

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Helpcare Project

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  1. Helpcare Project Dr Carolyn Downs Principle Investigator Lancaster University

  2. Project Team Lancaster University (UK) Lancaster and Morecambe College (UK) Commune di Ortona (Italy) University of Lodz (Poland) Znanie Organisation (Bulgaria) South East Europe Research Centre (Greece)

  3. Problem Identification Funding • Increasing need for professional care of the elderly across the EU • Patchwork of qualifications with no unifying framework • Recruitment and retention problems in the care sector in the UK, France and Germany • Need to develop a care sector in many southern and eastern European countries Demographics Social Change Global Shortage of Care workers (WHO) Scandals Hospitalisation

  4. Overview of Project Aims • To develop and transfer innovative practices in education for the qualification and professionalization of health and social care workers that can be adapted and adopted across the EU28 to make better use of the existing workforce through training. • To develop clear career paths in care to encourage young people to view health and social care work as a career choice with recognised routes for progression.

  5. Our Objectives • 1. To develop a model based upon best practice for training and regulation standards for existing home / healthcare workers that can be adapted and adopted across the EU either nationally, regionally or locally dependent on setting • 2. To work with those currently providing home /health and social care services VET/HE establishments and users and commissioners of homecare to develop a model of CPD to develop pathways to professionalization and provide new routes for progression from home /healthcare work into the wider range of health and social care. • 3. To explore existing health and social care qualifications in partner countries and develop a new model of work-based/VET/HE-based learning outcomes for health and social care that will fit into the HELPCARE framework for professionalization. • 4. Develop a transnational network and community of practice comprising service commissioners, policy makers and VET providers to disseminate best practice in health and social care workers education and progression through the EU.

  6. Innovations and Sustainability • Working with lead adoptors such as Devon and Hertfordshire county councils, Commune di Ortona, The Work Foundation • Online learning environment accessible to care workers • Pathways to Progression in Social Care model for policy makers adopted by Skills for Care

  7. Overview of Methods • Quantitative – a survey of 500 care workers • Qualitative • 100 semi-structured interviews with care workers • 5 Community of Inquiry workshops with care workers (co-researchers) • 48 unstructured interviews with care users conducted by our co-researchers • 25 in-depth case studies based upon our work with carers • Desk-based research on best-practice in education and training of care workers across EU.

  8. Key Findings • Care workers, especially those working full time suffer high levels of stress, often coupled with low self-esteem • Care workers often feel they have inadequate training for the demands of their role and identified numerous training needs that were currently unmet • A significant minority of care workers feel undervalued by wider society and sometimes by those they care for or their families • Care workers wanting to progress within care do not know how to acquire the skills or knowledge needed and cannot see a route through to a management role • Care workers feel their role is not recognised by the State and that the State does little to support their work • Care workers identified strong soft skills as critically important in fulfilling their role • Care commissioners identified lack of integration of health and social care as a significant barrier to progress • Care for vulnerable adults is not consistently regulated in the way that care for babies and young children is.

  9. Interviews Quote: “Care is undervalued by the general public and the local authorities” (Italy) Quote: “When people ask me about my job I am ashamed to say I am a carer” (UK) • Most caregivers feel that their role is being valued by society, though a quarter feel their role is not appreciated. • Some caregivers mentioned that they are treated as second-class workers.

  10. Training needs There is a need for specialization The participants reported 498 different Training Needs! • Nursing and Medical skillsreported 491 times • nursing certain conditions (91) • manual handling (70) • first aid (69), • general nursing skills (51) • safe dispensing of medication (36) • Soft skillsreported 185 times • Emotion Regulation (37) • Communication Skills (41)

  11. Working with Trainers • Lancaster and Morecambe College and Zanie Organisation led this aspect of the work. • In the UK a new national basic training scheme is not working well. • In Bulgaria a comprehensive training programme in care is not being adopted • A number of employers have set up in-house training in response to recent scandals. • Helpcare training resources show the types of materials that can be developed and deployed. They are available via our Moodle pages from our website. Care Certificate Launched April 2015 Beginning of a process Patchy training standards Not externally validated. Many workers unable to access further CPPD

  12. Developing our Training Framework • Research based • The results of our survey and interviews informed the development of outputs • Input from our advisory panel assisted in developing resources • A pilot of resources took place amongst our project supporters such as Blackpool Carers, Comune di Ortona and many other sites

  13. Career Pathways • Previous research by the World Health Organisation and the EU suggest that one of the reasons for recruitment problems in the care sector is perceived lack of career development. • We worked with careers experts to develop career mapping tools to help promote care work as a career. These are available via our websiteand can be viewed at our stand

  14. At least triennial registration of all care workers initiated by Government Conditions of registration to include basic (entry level ) training and enhanced police checks Within 12 months of entry onto register care workers should achieve level 1 qualification to remain on register. Regular CPD should be a requirement of at least triennial re-registration All care work qualifications to be externally validated and with uniform curriculum (national or EU wide) Governments should legislate that care organisations and establishments employing more than 4 staff must be led by an advanced care practitioner Governments should value the important role of informal carers and provide training opportunities for this group alongside support via the tax system to recognise their contribution Proposed new structure for Professionalisation of care work: Entry Level Registered Carer Level 1 Registered Carer Level 2 Registered Carer Level 2 Care Specialist Level 3 Care Specialist Level 4 Care specialist practitioner and care team leader status Level 5 Care specialist practitioner and care team leader status Level 6 Advanced care practitioner, care manager A new suite of qualifications for care specialists covering level 2 and level 3 should be launched (stroke, dementia, stoma, diabetes, pressure sores, nutrition etc) Level 4 and Level 5 qualifications should include care leadership. This type of qualification should be available via work-based learning. Degrees in care work should be widely available, and should be a pre-requisite for a new role, Advanced Care Practitioner, allowing care specialists to progress beyond level 3 either directly to degree level study, or via work based learning at levels 4 and 5 to a top-up degree for level 6 Governments to establish legally-binding care standards that should be applied by all registered carers


  16. Anew initiative including the seven towns ofOrtona, Arielli, Crecchio, Giuliano Teatino, Poggiofiorito, Tollo, Canosa Sannita.

  17. These towns are part of the consortium for the management of the Area Plan of social services in the province of Chieti in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

  18. AIM: Improving the health and wellbeing of those receiving care through offering training and development to care workers. The initiative will see recommendations of the Helpcareproject implemented.

  19. Free services and support to: • care workers; • individuals who are interested to work as carers or simply want to know more about it; • families who need domestic care for elderly relatives no longer able to manage without support.

  20. MAIN SERVICES • Information, personal advice and tutoring; • Matching supply to demand (for care work); • Supporting carers in using the Helpcare self-assessment tool to evaluate their own training needs;

  21. MAIN SERVICES • Organising training courses for care workers in cooperation with the local Health Units with specific language modules for migrant care workers; • Creating a local register for care workers; • Cultural mediation to help and facilitate the communication between families and migrant care workers.

  22. Our team • service coordinator • Psychologist • social assistant • cultural mediators.

  23. LOCATION Helpcare Assistance Point Intercultural Research Center of Ortona Municipality Piazza Donatori del Sangue 66026 Ortona (CH) Italy Tel. 0039 (0) 859066323 Fax 0039 (0) 859066330 e-mail:

  24. Any questions? Please feel free to contact the team at any time. 01524 510939

  25. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.