The HCPC has, today, called for greater recognition of health and care professionals, as concerns were once again raised about workforce burnout with the Government’s Health and Social Care Committee. The regulator is asking Government and members of the public to remember the sentiments expressed towards all key workers, during the first lockdown.
John Barwick, CEO and Registrar of the HCPC, comments: ‘During the first few months of this year, the Government and the general public were incredibly understanding and supportive of all health and care roles, even ones which weren’t in [the] public eye. Now we have all stopped applauding these professionals, there is a danger we will stop appreciating and understanding the important work these professionals do.
‘That’s why, today, we’re calling for greater recognition and support of the work carried out by health and care professionals on our Register. In recent weeks, we’ve seen social media campaigns and news articles which have cast some of these professionals, and the crucial work they do, in a negative light. We’d like the Government to continue to champion the work of health and care professionals and to speak out against these ill-informed campaigns. We’d also like to encourage the public to be more understanding of the vital role HCPC-registered health and care professionals play in keeping them safe.’
HCPC registrants are playing a pivotal role in supporting patients and NHS services: For example, radiography plays a vital role in aiding the diagnosis of conditions such as cancer and coronary artery disease, and the treatment of injuries. Rachel Williams, Deputy Superintendent Radiographer, told the story of how she aided in the reconstruction of a man’s tibia, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘During the pandemic, I helped set up a walk-in orthopaedic outpatient fracture service and I also carried out hundreds, if not thousands of mobile x-rays. However, the biggest memory for me was working with a team to implant a bespoke orthopaedic implant.
‘Following an initial surgery, I performed a CT scan which enabled a team in the US to create a bespoke implant to replace part of a man’s tibia, which had been broken during an unfortunate accident involving Christmas lights. I then worked with a team to perform a six-hour surgery to put the implant in place. In these strange COVID-19 times, this work offered a small amount of normality, and a chance to see how the work we do on an everyday basis, really makes a difference in people’s lives.”
Dietitians are another HCPC regulated profession who are providing important services to patients, particularly in recovering from COVID-19.
Ella Terblanche RD, chair of the British Dietetic Association’s Critical Care Specialist Group and Principal Dietitian for Critical Care at St George’s Hospital, was recently awarded an MBE for her services during the pandemic. She comments on the impact of dietitians on COVID-19 recovery: ‘Nutrition is such a vital part of a person’s treatment and recovery from coronavirus, and I’m hugely proud of the work all dietitians have done over the past six months to save lives and help get people back on their feet.’