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Northern Ireland healthcare assistants to be renamed nursing assistants

Healthcare assistants in Northern Ireland are to be renamed ‘nursing assistants’, the country’s Department of Health (DH) has announced.

The DH has claimed that the change is being made ‘in recognition of this role within the nursing workforce’. Those in band 3 roles will be called ‘senior nursing assistants’ to ‘reflect their wider skill set’.

The announcement was made alongside the launch of new resources for the rebranded nursing assistants, including standards for the role, and an induction and development pathway.

The DH will set up a ‘task and finish’ implementation group to progress the roll out and implement the standards across the health and social care system in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council annual conference, chief nursing office Charlotte McArdle said: ‘These new resources recognise and endorse the valuable contribution made by this group of staff within the nursing workforce.

‘The new induction and development pathway will also promote consistent development and support of the role across the health and social care system to maximise the skills and competencies of nursing assistants and facilitate career progression options.’