Awarding and applauding healthcare assistants working in mental health wards
Ward Stars is an exciting new validation and professional development scheme for Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) from Star Wards. Ward Stars helps make explicit those aspects of HCAs’ work particularly valued by mental health inpatients. The process is structured around seven ‘Stars’ which are each focused on key themes of therapeutic inpatient care.
Ward Stars offers an opportunity for HCAs to be acknowledged for their significant contribution to patients’ ward experience and treatment outcomes, to feel validated and appreciated through feedback and certificates, and to gain a sense of achievement for undertaking such a challenging, diverse and rewarding role. The scheme provides an inspirational structure for professional reflection and development, rather than a more standardised accreditation or training programme.
Staff who successfully work their way through the Stars will accumulate a portfolio of relevant aspects of their work and will be presented with an attractive certificate for each completed Star. The Stars demonstrate and weave together a golden thread of values, skills, personal attributes and competences which are very much in line with the Certificate of Fundamental Care proposed by the Cavendish Review. Ward Stars aims to enhance the status and reputation of the HCA role, in addition to being a highly motivating and practical process for staff described by Camilla Cavendish as “extraordinary, dedicated carers”.
How Ward Stars Works
Ward Stars is designed to
- Be motivating and energising for HCAs
- Make explicit those aspects of HCAs’ work particularly valued by patients, eg warm and empathetic personal qualities
- Contribute to meeting HCAs’ appetite and need for professional development
- Provide a helpful structure for professional development
- Publicly validate good practice
- Enhance the status and reputation of the HCA role
- Help demonstrate the skills and qualities which are likely to be included in the Certificate of Fundamental Care proposed by the Cavendish Review
There are seven ‘Stars’ which are based on themes of therapeutic inpatient care used in Wardipedia, represented by the acronym IMAGINE. These are: