As we enter Spring and with the impact of COVID continuing to be felt, many people will be taking stock and considering a change of career for 2021.
And whether they are searching for a more fulfilling role where they can really make a difference to people’s lives, or simply looking for a stable job which offers great prospects for progression, the NHS has something to offer and is recruiting for healthcare support workers across the country right now.
What do healthcare support workers do?
Healthcare support worker is a key role that is at the very heart of healthcare and provides excellent opportunities for progression.
Working with nurses and other members of an inspiring and supportive team they develop close relationships with their patients helping them on their journey back to full health and changing lives every single day.
It’s a hands-on role – one-minute healthcare support workers could be taking blood and the next lending an ear to an anxious patient – but it’s one of the most rewarding.
The opportunities to progress are endless; healthcare support workers can choose to specialise in a particular setting, or train to qualify as a registered healthcare professional, such as a nurse.
And if you’re looking for a role where no two days are the same, where you’ll work as part of one passionate team, and where you’ll feel supported as you progress through your career, then being a healthcare support worker is for you.
Where are healthcare support workers based?
Healthcare support workers typically work in one of seven settings:
- Mental health: Helping with the care, treatment and recovery of patients.
- Community: Working with GPs and nursing teams to deliver and manage care in a patient’s home or community-based healthcare setting.
- Primary care: Assessing new patients and supporting the wider GP surgery medical and nursing team.
- Acute: A hospital-based role supporting patients and managing daily activities.
- Midwifery: Working on the maternity ward, supporting new parents and their babies.
- Children’s services: Working with nurses to support outpatient clinics and school clinics.
- Learning disability: Helping people with learning disabilities or autism to learn new skills and reach a level of independence.
There are 30 roles available depending on the healthcare setting but the most commonly advertised are:
- Healthcare support worker
- Healthcare assistant
What qualifications do you need to apply?
Qualifications aren’t the most important thing when moving into this job. What matters most is that you have a passion for helping others and enjoy working as part of a team.
And the good news is that for those in some of the industries which have been hit the hardest by COVID, hospitality, retail and customer service to name a few, many of the transferrable skills which they have developed in their current jobs will mean that they are the ideal candidate.
For some roles, some experience of healthcare or care work may be beneficial – this could be from paid or voluntary work, or through experience you bring in from previous roles
What are the pay, working hours and benefits like?
Healthcare support workers are paid on the Agenda for Change (AFC) pay system, typically starting on band 2, £18,005 per year.
They also have access to the NHS’ generous pension scheme and health service discounts, as well as 27 days of annual leave, plus bank holidays, which increases with continuous service.
For the NHS, caring for others starts with their employees, which is why they offer flexible working and benefits such as childcare to help with maintaining work/life balance.
How to find roles in your area
Job vacancies are advertised on the NHS Jobs site and can be searched for by title and location.
For guidance, support, and more information on becoming a healthcare support worker, sign up for your free guide today