Shape of Caring report

Hospital staff

The Shape of Caring review report, Raising the Bar,  commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) in partnership with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, made a series of recommendations for the future education and training of nurses and care assistants. 

The review was led by Lord Willis and it focused on how the NHS can ensure that the education and training of registered nurses and care assistants is fit for purpose to support the the delivery of high quality care over the next 10 to 15 years.  The report contained 34 recommendations which were grouped under eight themes:

  • Theme 1 - Enhancing the voice of the patient and the public.
  • Theme 2 - Valuing the care assistant role.
  • Theme 3 - Widening access for care assistants who wish to enter nursing.
  • Theme 4 - Developing a flexible model.
  • Theme 5 - Assuring a high-quality learning environment for pre-registration nurses.
  • Theme 6 - Assuring high-quality, ongoing learning for registered nurses.
  • Theme 7 - Assuring sustainable research and innovation.
  • Theme 8 - Assuring high-quality funding and commissioning.

Following engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, including healthcare providers, patients and representative groups, HEE have published their response to the review.  In principle HEE have accepted all 34 recommendations and five priority areas have been identified:

  • excellence in nursing practice
  • valuing and developing the care assistant workforce
  • ensuring meaningful patient and public involvement
  • flexibility in preregistration education
  • standards for post registration education.

Next steps

HEE will now work closely with stakeholders in the design and delivery of the implementation phase. One of the recommendations that will be taken forward is the introduction of the nursing associate role which is expected to work alongside care assistants and registered nurses to provide high-quality person-centred care across health and care settings.

Further information

Read the Shape of Caring review report, Raising the Bar

View HEE's response to the Shape of Caring review. 

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