Your Career

If you have good communication, organisational and observation skills and want to have a challenging yet rewarding role with excellent career prospects then these may be the jobs for you.

Healthcare Assistant

Healthcare Assistants (HCA) are pivotal members of the team providing direct patient care. If you have good communication, organisational and observation skills and want to have a challenging yet rewarding role with excellent career prospects then these may be the jobs for you. We currently employ over 1000 members of staff into these roles and recruit on a regular basis to ensure we have all the staff we need to provide excellent patient care.

The role of a Healthcare Assistant?

HCA work in both hospital and community settings, such as GP surgeries, under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. The role can be varied depending upon the setting. Most commonly, HCA work alongside nurses. HCA also work alongside qualified midwives in maternity services.

The types of duties include the following;

  • Assisting patients with washing and dressing, serving patients meals and assisting with feeding when necessary
  • Assisting patients to mobilise
  • Toileting
  • Bed making
  • Generally assisting with patients' overall comfort
  • Monitoring of patients' conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respirations and other key observations in which they are trained.

This role is hugely rewarding and is a key role in ensuring our patients receive the highest possible standard of care. We look for people with high professional standards who are also caring, compassionate, cheerful and friendly.

Frequently asked questions

What qualifications do I need to become a Healthcare Assistant?

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To be eligible for shortlisting and to be offered and interview you will need the following;

  • NVQ Level 2 in appropriate subject (or on pathway) or equivalent qualification/experience
  • Basic IT Skills
  • GCSE's in english and maths at grades 3-1 (or D-G or level Functional/Key Skills)
  • Ability to communicate with members of the public and health care providers
  • Presents self as courteous, respectful and helpful
  • Ability to work effectively under direct supervision, as part of the multi-disciplinary team

How will I be supported to gain the required clinical skills in practice?

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As one of the leading teaching hospitals in England, we are committed to providing exceptional standards of education and training, and ensuring that all learning opportunities for our staff are focused around placing the patient at the heart of everything we do, whatever their role.

We run our HCA Academy which offers a comprehensive, five day induction programme for newly appointed staff. The programme introduces them to the vision and values of the Newcastle Hospitals, and allows them to fully explore their role, with the opportunity to develop and practice their new skills and knowledge in a classroom and safe, three patient bed area with a life-sized mannequin and many items of clinical equipment they will see or use in their working environment, before working in one of the Trust’s clinical areas.

During the probationary period, each new staff member will be expected to demonstrate that they have achieved the National Care Certificate standards, both in knowledge and clinical practice. During the five day programme sessions include:

  • Harm-free care
  • Customer services and teamwork
  • End of life care
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Record keeping
  • Care of the bariatric patient
  • Healthcare Assistant Code of Conduct
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Personal care
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Bladder and bowel care
  • Diabetes
  • Privacy, dignity and respect
  • National Early Warning Score (NEWS) and recording observations
  • Learning Disability
  • Sensory impairment
  • Pain management
  • Mental Health Awareness

After attending the Academy, staff will complete the National Care Certificate (demonstrating knowledge and clinical skills). This provides the staff member with the knowledge and skills to support their practice and provides the Trust with assurances that they have met the minimum levels required in terms of knowledge and the ability to deliver safe and compassionate care that meets the needs of patient and their families.

What opportunities are for career development are available?

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Tremendous opportunities exist for well-motivated and enthusiastic staff to develop their skills and build the foundations for a long term career in the Trust and the NHS. It is a really exciting time for HCA who want to work towards a registered profession. 

We currently have around 90 qualified Assistant Practitioners (AP). An AP is an experienced healthcare worker who competently delivers healthcare to our patients.

This staff group has the required level of knowledge and skills beyond that of the traditional HCA and will have successfully completed a Foundation Degree in order to fulfil this role.

Following relevant training, the AP can deliver elements of health care and under-take clinical work in areas that have previously only been within the remit of registered professionals. This staff group can work in a broad range of areas within the hospital which includes out-patient and in patient areas.

All of our previous AP have been recruited from our existing HCA and we are currently looking at how we can support our existing AP to become Registered Nurses which is a very exciting new development and we are the first Trust in the country to do this.

We are also in the process of training some of the first cohorts of Nursing Associates. This new national role is similar to that of an AP but will be regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The training is over 2 years and allows the trainee to have experience over a wide range of clinical areas similar to that of a student nurse. Again, all of our current trainees have come from existing support roles in the Trust.

We are passionate to grow our own workforce and the HCA role is a great foundation for this. 

What if I have never been to the Trust before – can I come for a visit?

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We encourage staff to come for a visit if you have never been to the Trust before. This gives you a chance to see what services we offer and what posts might be available and it gives us a chance to give you a warm welcome and say hello.

If you are interested please email Ian Joy Senior Nurse for Nursing and Midwifery Staffing and he can arrange a visit with the most suitable person.

The recruitment process

We advertise and interview on a quarterly basis. The post will be advertised on NHS jobs and can be found here. The interview dates are included with each advert. Please make sure you check this date as we cannot offer an alternative date. Please be aware that the job advert often closes after 24 hours due to the volume of applicants so we recommend you set up an alert on NHS Jobs to ensure you don’t miss the advert. All of our posts are included in a single advert, the advantage of this is you only have to attend for one interview but this gives you access to all the posts that are available on the day

When you attend for the interview you will be given a list of all wards and departments that are recruiting that day. You will be asked to select up to three areas of interest. If successful at interview we will always try and offer you your first choice of post however if that’s not possible we would then look at your second and then third choice. If successful we will always offer you a specific post, if there are no posts available which match your requirements your application will go into a pool to await a suitable post for up to 3 months.

You can specify if you have a preference for working at the RVI or Freeman - some of our services are delivered on both sites. You will be asked if you would like full or part time work and if part time how many hours you would be interested in.

Sound right for you?

Yes... now it's time to find you a job. 

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