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Nursing Associates

Consultation on Modern-Day SEN or ‘Nursing Associate’ Launched by HEE

Nursing Notes

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Consultation on Modern-Day SEN or 'Nursing Associate' Launched by HEE

In December 2015 the government announced plans to introduce a new ‘Nursing Associate’, compared to many as the modern-day State Enrolled Nurse or SEN – Health Education England (HEE) has now launched its consultation.

This new role was announced by the Department of Health in December alongside significant changes to the routes and pathways into Nursing, it is claimed these steps will ensure there will be sufficient Nurses in the future to meet the ever-increasing demand and open up spaces for a more vocational style of study.

According to the HEE website, “The new role is expected to work alongside care assistants and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care, focusing on ensuring patients continue to get the compassionate care they deserve. This new role has the potential to transform the nursing and care workforce and making sure the role has a clear entry and progression point will be crucial in its development.

They also state, “Overall, we want to create a new type of care worker with a higher skillset to assist, support and complement the care given by registered nurses.

Unions have heavily criticised the role claiming it will lead to more confusion around and responsibilities to both the healthcare workforce and patients.

Both the NMC and RCN have made it clear that registration and regulation for Nursing Associates is paramount and maybe the key to the success of this new role.

Many Nurses have compared the new roles to that of the State Enrolled Nurse (SEN) that was abolished as part of ‘Project 2000’.

The consultation is open to anyone interested in the new role including; patients and users of health and social care, nurses, care assistants, employers, students, educationalists and healthcare organisations.

You can take part in the consultation by completing this online survey or by downloading a survey response form and emailing it to [email protected].

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Nursing Associates

Nursing associates could be the answer to the NHS staffing crisis

James M

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Nursing associates could be the answer to the NHS staffing crisis

Nursing associates could be the answer to the NHS staffing crisis as many healthcare trusts struggle to recruit and retain registered nurses.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) estimates there are around 40,000 nursing and midwifery vacancies, which, alongside a significant reduction in student nurses means an influx of nursing associates could go some way to alleviating the pressure on front-line services.

The majority of trainee nursing associates were previously very experienced healthcare assistants with a vast amount of untapped practical knowledge and despite some initial teething problems extra staff will be a welcome sight for many.

According to Health Education England (HEE) the nursing associate role is designed to sit between healthcare support workers (HCAs) and registered nurses (RNs) to assist in delivering hands-on care for patients.

In January, the Nursing and Midwifery Council announced it would create a new part of the NMC register specifically for nursing associates.

Presently, around 2000 trainee nursing associates are taking part in the pilot scheme with the first cohort are due to qualify in January 2019.

We have approached the Royal College of Nursing and Nursing and Midwifery Council for comment. 

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Nursing Associates

HMRC say nursing associates do not qualify for tax exemptions

Ian Snug

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HMRC say nursing associates do not qualify for tax exemptions

NHS Employers have confirmed that nursing associates do not qualify for tax exemption under the HMRC Widening Access Training (WAT) scheme.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have taken the view the role does not qualify for the tax and national insurance (NI) exemptions on the basis that the income received is more similar in nature to a salary than a scholarship income.

In order to be eligible for a refund, or receive payments free of tax and NI contributions, applicants need to satisfy certain qualifying conditions. These are: either an employee receives an income as part of a scholarship or bursary; or receives full-time instruction at a recognised university or similar establishment open to the public.

HMRC have taken the view that the payments received by trainees are subject to superannuation contributions, where progression can be made on a salary scale, making them more characteristic of a salary rather than the receipt of a bursary or similar endowment. It is also considered that as the majority of training is provided in-post by the NHS, with possibly only one day per week spent at an educational establishment, this does not satisfy the qualifying conditions.

NHS Employers is advising Nursing Associates who have received differing advise to contact HMRC by emailing nhswat.[email protected] or calling 03000 555798.

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