Healthcare support workers (HCSW)

Healthcare support workers play a crucial role in providing high quality, compassionate care to all our patients.

They work across all wards and departments within our Trust, under the supervision of registered healthcare professionals.

They help patients with all aspects of their daily life, including social and physical activities, personal care, mobility and mealtimes. They can be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the team as they work very closely with patients, reporting their observations to their senior colleagues. They can assist many different patient groups, including those patients receiving acute care, with learning disabilities, with physical disabilities, undergoing rehabilitation, and with mental health conditions.

Our support worker roles include:

  • Healthcare assistants
  • Maternity support workers
  • Theatre support workers
  • Physiotherapy assistants
  • Radiography assistants
  • Occupational therapy assistants, and many more.

Precious, Apprentice Healthcare Support Worker, talks about her role on the Combined Day Unit (CDU).

Even if you don't have any experience, we will teach you everything you need to know. To us it is more important that you are a caring and a kind person with a genuine desire to help and support patients and their families.

If you are new to care, you will have the opportunity to work towards gaining the care certificate. This is an agreed set of standards that define the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of the role.

UHDB is a great place to work, offering a working environment with an inclusive culture that looks after and values our people and creates a sense of belonging. We encourage applications from people who embrace our values and who will enable us to expand our diverse workforce.

In return we will offer:

  • Strong team ethos
  • NHS salary structure and pension
  • 27 days holiday plus days off for bank holidays worked
  • Enhanced pay when you work unsocial hours
  • Maternity, paternity and adoption leave
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Wide range of LGBTI+ initiatives
  • Health service discounts and online benefits
  • Health and wellbeing support
  • Discounts on public transport
  • Disability Confident
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Range of opportunities for flexible working

Key contacts

If you have any questions, please contact our Vocational Training team.

Telephone: 01332 785414

What does the role involve?

  • Supporting patients who need assistance with mobility, getting dressed, eating and drinking, and personal hygiene.
  • Working closely with nurses, doctors, physios, occupational therapists, dietetics and other members of the multidisciplinary team to provide care to our patients.
  • Close monitoring and documentation of patient conditions and escalating any concerns or changes.
  • Engaging with patients, this can include distraction, listening and talking.
  • Undertaking observations and sample collection.

Support workers require a good standard of numeracy and digital skills, with the ability to work with the wider healthcare team. Additional skills should include:

  • Being well organised.
  • Good listening and communication skills.
  • Caring, kind, cheerful and friendly.
  • Keen to support patients with personal needs, including washing and toileting.
  • Able to follow direct instructions.
  • Happy to work as part of a team but also to use own initiative.

The role may suit individuals with:

  • An interest in healthcare.
  • An interest in a nursing career.
  • Experience of caring for others.
  • Career switchers.
  • Schools and college leavers who wish to pursue an apprenticeship in care.

Working patterns

We cover a full rotation of shifts patterns to ensure our patients are always cared for.

  • Full time hours – 37.5 hours/week.
  • Part time hours – an agreed portion of the full-time hours.
  • Under 18’s – 7.5 hour shifts with 2 consecutive days off.

Whether you work full or part-time hours, you will be required to work a variety of shifts which will include days, nights, weekends and bank holidays. Normal shift times on the ward areas are 7am – 7.30pm, and 7pm – 7.30am. Theatres, clinic and outpatient areas may vary.

Learning and development

Career progression

There are numerous routes of progression for healthcare support workers which include:

  • Allied Health Professions
  • Nursing
  • Medicine
  • Healthcare Scientists
  • Senior Healthcare Support Workers
  • Trainee Nursing Associate
  • Radiography Assistants
  • Paramedics

Visit the NHS website to help you identify your transferrable skills > you need and how you can top up your qualifications to help you get ready for your next steps.

You can also download our Healthcare Support Worker Development Pathway [pdf] 104KB to view the types of progression routes available.


Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes where you can learn while you earn as well as develop your knowledge and skills to achieve a nationally recognised qualifications. These are provided from Level 2 to Level 7. For more information, visit our apprenticeships page >.

Personal skills

These include leadership skills, organisational skills, listening skills, managing challenging situations, problem solving and understanding change.

How do you develop your learning needs?

Becoming a champion or the 'link'  for your team can be a great way to develop your skills and knowledge in your current role, along with developing your leadership skills.

Technical skills

The Trust will support you to complete the Care Certificate, which normally takes 12-16 weeks.

You can complete e-learning in your own time, on the eLearning for healthcare website >, where there are over 400 programmes for you to explore.

Skills for life – functional skills

A Functional Skills Level 2 qualification is equivalent to a GCSE Grade 4 (or C on old grading system). If you decide to progress in your career, you will need to achieve this.

Functional skills can also help you feel more confident in yourself and can be useful in all aspects of your life, including literacy, numeracy and digital skills. For more information, please contact

Internal Transfer Scheme (ITS)

Have the opportunity to develop your skills in a different area, as well as helping other colleagues.