How social care staff working in residential homes perceive their professional status

Deidre Wild, Ala Szczepura, Sarah Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Aim The aim of the study was to explore how ‘new role’ and other social carers and stakeholders involved in providing enhanced health and social care for older people perceive the social care support worker’s professional status. Method Three different enhanced care approaches, of which two trained social care support workers to undertake new clinical support roles were studied in three residential homes: a local authority home, a voluntary sector home and a ‘not for profit’ independent sector home for older people. Participants were staff with national vocational qualifications at level 3 as new role carers with and without additional basic health skills awards. Other participant groups included care staff of other grades, care home managers, their parent organisation managers, and local and national stakeholders. Results Staff in all three care settings believed themselves to be professionals in the homes in which they worked but were less sure of their status in the wider health and care landscape. Conclusion If the social carer workforce is to be considered a profession, it requires a professional framework in the form of a representative organisation, a code of conduct for practice and clarity as to how its new role activities interact with those of other established health professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
JournalNursing older people
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011


  • Care home
  • residential home
  • social care support worker


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