The Cavendish Report

Report entry in dictionary

Following the Francis inquiry, and failings reported at Winterbourne View, Camilla Cavendish was commissioned to carry out an independent review into health care assistants (HCAs) and support workers in the NHS and social care.

Cavendish spent time with staff and patients and in a number of organisations where HCAs and support workers are employed to look at recruitment, training, supervision, support and public confidence.

The findings and the 18 recommendations made in the Cavendish Report were structured around these themes. According to Cavendish, her recommendations were made using two guiding principles: going with the grain of what the best employers are already doing, and aiming to reduce complexity.

Workforce Implications

Prior to the full Government response, health minister Lord Howe announced that, in line with one of Cavendish's recommendations, a new national certificate for HCAs and social care support workers will be introduced in an attempt to drive up standards.

The Government issued its full response to the Francis Report on 19 November 2013. It included acknowledgement of, and a response to the reviews carried out in the light of Francis.

Of Cavendish, it said:

"We welcome the recommendations of the Cavendish Review relevant to the importance of education, training and standards, and these are being developed further.  The importance of this is recognised by the Government asking Health Education England to work with Skills for Care, Skills for Health and other stakeholders to consider how the ‘Certificate of Fundamental Care,’ which will be called the Care Certificate, can be developed".

The Government did not accept Francis' recommendation for statutory regulation of support workers, citing it as a costly option, which does not prevent poor care. It encouraged providers to focus on the other safeguards currently in place.

As a response to Recommendation 14 of the Cavendish Review, NHS Employers produced a new people performance management toolkit in partnership with the National Skills Academy (Social Care).  This resource offers line managers in the health and social care sector a wide range of practical guidance and signposting on the subject of people management, and is available to view or download here.

Further information

Read more about the Francis report and the Government's response to Francis.

Access resources and information to help you develop your support staff on our support workforce webpages.

Download the Cavendish Report.

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