Change lives, every single day

The term healthcare support worker (HCSW) is an umbrella term which covers a variety of health and care support roles, including healthcare assistant (HCA), nursing assistant, theatre support worker, maternity support worker and more.

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Healthcare support workers play a vital role in providing excellent care to patients across all NHS care settings including hospital wards and community for both adult and children services. They can help patients with social and physical activities, personal care, mobility, meal times, booking appointments etc. They may also support the registered professional in planning and implementing programmes of patient care and taking observations of patients, including temperature, pulse, respiration and weight.

The HCSW role can also lead to a range of career opportunities. With the right support, those who exemplify the skills and core values essential to delivering high-quality, compassionate care could, and can, go on to become our future nurses, nursing associates, midwives, AHPs and even Psychologists.

If you’re just starting out or are looking to change careers, you may be surprised to learn that you’ve probably already got lots of the skills we’re looking for. A caring and compassionate nature is essential to the role but you’ll also need to have good communication skills, teamwork and be good at problem solving and also be able to make quick decisions.

Shift patterns

Generally there are four different shifts starting from 7am: Early shift (7.5 hours), Late shift (7.5 hours), Day shift (12.5 hours) or Night shift (12.5 hours) you may be asked to work a pattern of these over a set period and your pattern of work could vary each week.

Contract types

There are two different contract types

  • Substantive – a permanent contract where you’ll be committed to working a set number of hours each week on a dedicated ward or clinical area. This may be part-time or full-time. 
  • Bank contract – a flexible contract allowing you to pick and choose the number of shifts and hours you take each week, and where you can specify your ward or clinical area to work.

Typical duties of a healthcare support worker role may include the following:

  • Supporting with personal care
  • Providing emotional support
  • Reading care plans and observation charts
  • Conducting patient observations
  • Keeping accurate patient records
  • Assisting with eating and drinking
  • Moving and handling
  • Escorting patients to appointments
  • Providing social engagement
  • Visit patients in their homes.
  • Lead therapy sessions.

This not an exhaustive list and will vary depending on the service you work.

The Redwoods Centre is a purpose built, award winning inpatient mental health facility which opened in September 2012. Based in Shrewsbury it serves the population of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. Comprising of four buildings, the centre offers 79 beds for adults with acute mental health problems, dementia and rehabilitation needs, as well as a 32 bedded low secure forensic unit.

Health Based Place of Safety

Our health based place of safety is based in the Redwoods Centre, Shrewsbury, this place of safety provides assessment by mental health professionals, in a calm and positive environment away from the busy Emergency Department at our local hospital.

Meet Tam, Healthcare Support Worker

Find out what Tam has to say about working at the Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury:

Hear from our Healthcare Support Workers

Maria Allison, Healthcare Support WorkerMaria Allison.png

"I am fortunate to work for MPFT. It's a progressive Trust and I have been successful in my application to upskill from being a Phlebotomist to a Healthcare Support Worker to support winter pressures. I have been supported by clinical leads, the senior team and my colleagues to achieve my new skills and knowledge and I am keen to develop further."

Jacob Evans, Healthcare Support WorkerJacob Evans.png

"Although I had just started my role with MPFT, I was astonished that my managers were equally as excited about my professional development as I was. The support I have received from every single member of staff has been exemplary and I am so grateful to be a part of such a hardworking and patient focussed team."