How the CHAP role helps to overcome challenges in the health and social care sector

older man with walking stick

Investing in CHAP training for experienced care assistants could help your business to overcome key challenges.

Organisations and businesses in the health and social sector are currently facing several key problems including a shortage of staff, funding cuts, and an ageing population. This is during a time when demand for health and social care is already high and rapidly growing.

Challenges facing the health and social care sector

Organisations in the health and social care sector are currently facing several problems which are putting pressure on the sector’s resources and staff, these include:


The health and social care sector is experiencing serious problems with understaffing due to a national shortage of nurses, an ageing workforce, and a high staff turnover.

In fact, a 2020 study of the adult social care sector and workforce in England found that the sector had a vacancy rate of 7.3% and a turnover rate of 30.4% (roughly double the average turnover rate of other sectors).

A report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also warns that leaving the EU could also have a “significant impact” on the care workforce as over 100,000 of adult social care employees are EU nationals. This suggests that problems with staff shortages could soon become even worse.

Reduced funding

Funding for the social care sector has been falling since 2009. Government cutbacks and underfunding have left the sector struggling to afford the resources and staff they require to continue to deliver high levels of care.

Consistency of care

A shortage of staff means that care homes often turn to agency staff to support their nurses. A large proportion of people working in the care sector are also on zero hours contracts which can make a role feel temporary.

When the staff you employ to deliver care services are constantly changing, the service can feel impersonal and lack consistency.

Ageing population

The UK’s ageing population, combined with the fact that people are now living longer than ever, means that demand for health and social care services is always growing. As well as being seriously understaffed, each year the sector requires more staff than it did the year before to keep up with demand.


The Covid-19 pandemic has put additional pressure on the health and social care sector by amplifying the above challenges as well as presenting the sector with new problems. The pandemic has produced an influx in demand for health and social care services and forced organisations to find new ways to work safely, often at a price.

All the above challenges make it difficult for organisations to continue to deliver the high standards of care that they strive for.

The care home assistant practitioner role has become a pivotal role in the care sector as it can help ease the pressure caused by some of these challenges.

What is a care home assistant practitioner (CHAP)?

The CHAP role has become an essential part of the care sector, helping organisations and businesses to overcome many of the challenges they now face on a daily basis.

The role of a care home assistant practitioner bridges the gap between a care assistant and a registered nurse. CHAPs are trained to carry out a range of additional management and clinical responsibilities that would otherwise be left to nurses.

Most people who complete CHAPs training are experienced care assistants who are looking to progress their career.

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How do CHAPs help with the challenges the sector is facing?

Investing in CHAP training for members of your care team could help you to overcome some of the key challenges facing the care sector, here’s how.


The CHAP role helps to reduce the impact of understaffing in the sector in several ways.

The national shortage of nurses makes it difficult for care homes to find candidates with the skills they require. Training up existing staff to become CHAPs is an efficient way of filling the skills gap without having to recruit more nurses. It also means other members of the workforce can take on some of the nurses’ duties, taking the pressure off overwhelmed nurses.

As well as helping to fill skills gaps, training and promoting from within your business or organisation can also help to retain staff in an industry where retention rates are very low. By offering staff the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge and take on more responsibility to progress their career you can improve your work force’s job satisfaction and retain more of your employees.

Reduced funding

Recruiting new members of staff can be expensive, first you need to pay to advertise the job or for an agency to find candidates, then there are the costs of training and permanently employing your new member of staff.

Where possible, it is far more cost-effective to train existing members of staff in new skills, such as CHAP training, and then promote from within rather than recruiting a new permanent member of staff.

Consistency of care

By allowing more experienced care assistants to complete CHAP training, organisations usually find that they have less need for agency staff.

Receiving care from someone familiar makes the world of difference to care home residents. When the same care assistants are available to care for residents on a regular basis, they can get to know each individual and their likes and dislikes to provide more personal and friendly care.

CHAPs training with CBAT

Here at CBAT we provide a professional CHAP training course to healthcare organisations nationwide.

Our comprehensive course takes just 7 weeks and can be completed either in-person at our offices in Southport or in a virtual classroom online.

For more information about our care home assistant practitioner training course, give our team a call on 01772 816 922, email, or book online to secure your place on our course.