NHS Healthcare Support Workers
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About NHS Healthcare Support Workers

News & Updates

20 May 2022
There are many roles within the NHS that don't require a degree. Search for healthcare support worker roles and join the thousands across the country making a difference every day.

What is a Healthcare Support Worker?

You don’t need any healthcare experience to join us as a Healthcare Support Worker. It’s what makes you ‘you’ that counts. Your natural ability to put people at ease. Your pride in doing a job well. And your passion for making life that little bit better for everyone you meet. It’s these skills that will help you hit the ground running and ensure our patients get the care they need and deserve. In turn, as well as a long list of benefits; you can make the most of the NHS’s endless opportunities – or simply be the best Healthcare Support Worker possible.


Our Healthcare Support Workers have found the role to be the perfect entry point into the NHS. You get all the training you need to be brilliant at what you do. Equally – if you want to – the expert team of doctors, nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals around you will develop your skills, broaden your experience and champion your progress into new roles. Whichever Healthcare Support Worker role you take on, you’ll learn basic nursing skills and we’ll support you through the Care Certificate as a first step, which uses a mix of workshops, conferences, events and e-learning to enhance your abilities and knowledge. As you take on more responsibilities, there’ll be the chance to study further... (Care Certificate - https://www.nhsemployers.org/articles/care-certificate)

The job and benefits

There are over 30 Healthcare Support Roles across the NHS, from Healthcare Assistant and Mental Health Support Worker to Nursing Assistant. What they all have in common is variety: the chance to learn lots of new skills, and the reward of seeing your work make a difference for patients. There’ll likely be practical things to do, including washing and dressing patients, making beds and serving meals. And you might learn more technical skills, like how to take blood, or check a patient’s blood pressure, temperature or heart rate. Virtually all the roles are shift based – there’s enhanced pay for unsocial hours. And through it all, we’ll want you to do what comes naturally: talk to our patients, and look after their wellbeing. Benefits As you’d expect, there’s a comprehensive rewards package • A good salary • 27 days’ leave plus bank holidays (rising to 29 after five and 33 after 10 years’ service) • Enhanced pay when you work unsocial hours • Support to complete the Care Certificate • Ongoing learning and development opportunities • Structured personal development and career progression plan • Generous NHS pension • Great maternity, paternity and adoption support • Childcare vouchers • Wide range of LGBTI+ initiatives • Health service discounts and online benefits • Health and wellbeing opportunities • Cycle to Work Scheme and discounts on public transport

Diversity and Inclusion

Our commitments to you We are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We know through experience that different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds create a stronger and more creative work environment that delivers better patient outcomes. We welcome applications irrespective of people's age, disability, sex, gender identity and gender expression, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or other personal circumstances. We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and consistently at every stage of the recruitment process, including the consideration of reasonable adjustments for people who have a disability. Applications are welcomed from applicants who wish to apply for a position on the basis of a smarter or flexible working arrangement. Where candidates are successful at interview, such requests will be taken under consideration and accommodated where the needs of the service allow.

Mental Health + Acute Care

As a Healthcare Support Worker in Mental Health, you’ll work closely with patients, visitors, carers and their families, social services and other voluntary organisations. In practice, it’s likely you’ll help patients with their treatment and recovery. We’ll also invite you to discuss their care and progression in team meetings, prepare risk assessments and help design and apply care plans. Acute care is about short–term treatments – teams like accident and emergency departments and outpatient surgery (when the patient doesn’t stay overnight). As a Healthcare Support Worker, it’s very hands-on. As well as supporting patients’ daily activities, like eating, drinking and washing; you’ll collect their samples and swabs. We’ll also ask you to record their fluids, take their temperature, pulse and blood pressure – and keep all their records up to date.


The support worker role in maternity services will give you a great grounding. You’ll fill out documents, manage stocks, prepare women for clinical examinations and tests, and help them with any hydration and dietary needs. Over time, you may also start recording blood pressure, temperature and weight, take bloods from mums and their babies, and even lead antenatal classes. Band 2 Support Worker in Maternity Services No experience? No problem. We’ll teach you everything you need to know for this physically demanding role. To us, it’s more important that you’re a caring and kind person with a genuine desire to help and support women, babies and their families. If this sounds like you, then you already have the attributes that make a great maternity support worker. Band 3 Support Worker in Maternity Services You’ll need up to three A-Levels or Health and Science T-Level GCSE’s or equivalent and some experience of care would be advantageous. Check out the Jobs tab to search for available support worker roles in maternity services in your area.


Community services support everyone from children and older people to those living with frailty or chronic conditions. So the role here varies depending on where you’re based. However, it’s likely you’ll get involved in developing care plans, explaining treatments to patients and educating people about health – as well as recording patients’ progress and helping with hygiene and everyday activities.

Primary Care + Children and Young People’s Services

Primary care is often the first point of contact for patients. Your GP, community pharmacy, dentist and optician are good examples, so expect a mix of admin and front-line work. You could run health assessments – blood pressure, urine and more – and assist in clinics alongside nurses and other colleagues. You’ll also help keep services running smoothly, for example managing stocks and updating records. You’ll likely tackle a wide range of duties as a Healthcare Support Worker in Children and Young People’s Services. As well as general patient care, you may be asked to help provide respite or palliative care in a child’s home, support mothers in our special care baby unit, assist with clinics and handle admin tasks like stock taking.

Learning Disability Support Workers + Health and Justice

This is about supporting people with learning disabilities or autism in their daily activities, so they can be as independent as possible. That might involve helping to design care plans, and potentially delivering support within patients’ own homes. It’s something that’ll see you develop meaningful relationships with individuals who have significant communication needs, and provide valuable support to their families. Health and Justice role could see you work anywhere from a prison to a police custody suite or court. Duties include supporting our health promotion clinics, or helping with patients’ social and mental wellbeing, personal care and substance misuse. Practically, that includes everything with patient assessments, and blood pressure, pulse and temperature observations, to explaining treatments, arranging triage and providing health advice.

Where will the role take you?

There are so many options to choose from – and the skills you learn when you join could help you move into a different patient setting, as well as a more senior position. Check out the jobs tab to search available roles.

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London, United Kingdom