health-insuranceAlmost all healthcare assistants (HCAs) in the UK are willing to accept compulsory registration – and many of them are happy to pay for it, according to an online poll.

The British Journal of Healthcare Assistants asked 385 HCAs if they thought they should be on a formal register and 93 per cent said they should – with 67 per cent saying they would willingly pay the annual fees. This flies in the face of what the government said following a recommendation by the Francis inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS trust. The issue was dismissed as nothing more than a pointless box-ticking exercise.

Ministers reckoned that registering around 1m HCAs would be a massive task with limited gains – and it would not be fair for someone on such a low wage to be made to fork out for annual registration fees. The government’s alternative was to introduce minimum training standards and a code of conduct.

The Department of Health said: “Setting up a register would be a bureaucratic tick-box exercise. We are tackling this issue at its root, focusing on making sure healthcare support workers have the right training, values, support and leadership to provide the high-quality care that patients deserve.”