Unison’s Homecare Training Survey Report

Since 2010, huge reductions in social care budgets have impacted on the quality of homecare for the elderly and disabled in the UK.

This report details the findings of the research and states that many carers are expected to provide  care with little or no training and this care includes the sort of tasks that were previously carried out by district nurses.



Training and Career Opportunities Vital to Tackle The Recruitment Crisis


In the Guardian online Carolyn Downs comments on the Helpcare project research results to date.  Research has shown that many staff have a negative view of their work, but giving them the opportunity to gain skills and qualifications would make the job more attractive.  Problems of recruitment and retention have been explored and the first stage of the research is now complete. Carolyn comments “we hope to develop innovative education practices for the qualification and professionalisation of health and social care workers”

read more here:


The Care Certificate from Unison

The care certificate will ensure that minimum standards of training are met before any health or social care member is allowed to work without direct supervision in England.  Covering 15 areas of competency this certificate will provide a benchmark of introductory training and will minimise the need for organisations to repeat training. During the roll-out stage health and social care organisations are expected to focus on ‘new starters, new to care work’ however many may benefit from assessing their existing staff in the same way.

As the certificate is not yet mandatory this may cause some disruption in the health and social care industry. The associated training may become an additional cost to responsible organisations that already provide training, meaning that competitors that do not provide the training can undercut them on price, especially in a tender process. This calls for authorities to prioritise organisations who engage with the care certificate during the tender process. Further to this, some care organisations fear that staff may become demotivated if they are unable to complete the training necessary which may add to the already high staff turnover rate of the industry. The full report is available below.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://helpcare-project.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Care-Certificate-Guide-Unison-1.pdf”]

A Successful Co-Researcher Training Session at the Znanie Association

The training of the Co-researchers in Sofia took place in Znanie’s office with 3 participants – two professionally engaged with caring (former employees of the Social and Healthcare system, now retired and working as caregivers) and one who is taking care for family members.

Two people from Znanie were present – Valentina Georgieva, project manager and Vasilena Simova, researcher.
The discussion around the topic “My ideal carer” was supported by using of Ketso method.

The three participants agreed around three very important features that the “ideal carer” should posses:

• To be a good person – this is the starting point, the most important one. To be a good carer one should love people. If they don’t love people, no matter what training they are provided it wouldn’t help;
• To have relatively high level of education/wide interests. To be able to discuss different topics, to be a good companion, to behave properly;
• To behave in professional manner – to keep the distance between the carer and the client, to use plastic gloves, to know their rights and to fulfill their obligations with self confidence and dignity. To be aware of the diseases/condition of the client and possible complications. To know what to do in case of emergency.

The third point was the room where they see the training must be focused and will help.
The atmosphere of friendliness, openness and good will to cooperate could be felt during the session. A lot of experience, many examples and positive attitude fulfilled the room. Ketso model was welcomed; two of the participants were aware of it and found it very useful and appropriate, as well as pleasant to be applied.

Co Researcher Workshop

As part of the next stage of the research element of the HELPCARE project, Dr Carolyn Downs ran a workshop to train six volunteer people recruited locally who work in the care sector to become co-researchers for the project. The workshop was held at Lancaster & Morecambe College and featured the KETSO toolkit (Ketso means ‘action’ in Lesotho, Southern Africa, where it was invented), to help structure and deliver the training effectively.

The training was positively received by the co-researchers, who felt more enthusiastic and informed at the end of the day. In particular, citing the use of collaborative learning as one of the highlights of the training. The co-researchers also felt that they are now better prepared to enable the next stage of the project to move forward. The co-researchers will now be involved in interviewing and gathering useful information and opinions from the people who access care. This will hopefully help to provide a further invaluable source of evidence to inform the project.