(16 December 2021) The first meeting of the EPSU Health Care Assistants (HCA) Network took place on 8 December 2021 and gathered around 25 representatives from across Europe.
Participants discussed the following topics:
Common understanding of the HCAs in EPSU.
It was decided that the scope of the network will include HCAs in the social services – as many of them are organised in that sector by EPSU affiliates - as well as to use a very wide understanding of the occupation which will compromise workers not performing jobs of other health and social care professionals.
Organising Healthcare Assistants
The panel was moderated by Richie Lewis from UNISON. He presented the UK local “Pay fair for patient care” campaign. The campaign looks for a review and re-evaluation of the role of HCA, mostly working at band 3 level but receiving band 2 wages. The campaign aimes to improve the pay of the lowest paid HCA workers.
Pat Flannery, SIPTU representative from Ireland, moderated the third panel on understanding and researching the benefits and drawbacks of national registration. He presented the importance of national registration and regulations to standardize the role and scope of HCA practices. The panel was concluded with the decision to commission research on the registration of HCAs and to provide positive experiences where unions successfully managed registration of this group of workers.
Finally, Yolanda Gil, FSS-CCOO representative from Spain, moderated the fourth panel on education and training. The panel allowed members to exchange their experiences in improving qualification of HCAs.