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 a healthcare support worker role may be the job for you.

Healthcare Support Workers

Our healthcare support workers are vital members of our nursing and midwifery teams.

They are key to the smooth running of our wards, hospital and community clinics, critical care, operating theatres and maternity unit – we couldn’t do what we do without them.

No two days are ever the same. Life at Newcastle Hospitals is fast paced and you will work closely with all members of the team building strong working relationships and often life long friendships.

You will help patients with their hygiene needs such as washing, dressing and personal care; support their nutritional needs by providing nourishing food and drink which are essential to staying healthy as well as recovery from illness or treatment. There’s never a dull moment!

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

We currently employ over 1000 members of staff as healthcare support workers and recruit on a regular basis to ensure we have all the staff we need to provide excellent patient care.

What is the role of a Healthcare Support Worker?

Healthcare support workers (HCSWs) work in both hospital and community settings under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. 

The role can be varied depending upon the setting, eg, wards, critical care, outpatient clinics, theatres, in the community including patients' place of residence.  

Most commonly, HCSWs work alongside nurses. They also work alongside qualified midwives in maternity services.

The types of duties include the following:

  • supporting patients with washing and dressing, serving patients meals and assisting with feeding when necessary
  • assisting patients to mobilise and go to the toilet
  • bed making
  • monitoring patients' conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respirations and other key observations in which they are trained
  • generally assisting with patients' overall comfort

This role is hugely rewarding and is a key towards ensuring our patients receive the highest possible standards 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 Support Worker?

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As well has having the same energy, passion and commitment that we are proud to have, to ensure we can provide our patients with the best possible care, you will need:

  • Level 3 qualification in Health and Social Care (or equivalent level qualification) or equivalent relevant experience in Care
  • Basic IT skills
  • GCSEs in English and Maths at Grades 3-1 (or D-G or Level 1 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.

The Trust offers a comprehensive, five day induction programme for all newly appointed clinical staff.

For our newly appointed Healthcare Support Workers, this is followed by a three day programme at our state of the art Healthcare Academy allowing you to become familiar with the vision and values of the Newcastle Hospitals whilst fully exploring your new role.

What is the Healthcare Support Worker Academy?

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Our state of the art Academy gives all our new Healthcare Support Workers the opportunity to develop and practice new skills and knowledge before working in one of the Trust’s clinical areas.

You will spend time in both a classroom environment as well as practicing what you learn in safe, patient bedded areas with a life-sized mannequin and many items of clinical equipment that you will see and use in your working environment.

During the three day programme sessions include:

  • Harm-free care - catheter care, Dementia, Falls, Tissue Viability
  • Physiological Observations, A-E, Sepsis, Deteriorating Patient – Practical & Theory
  • Bed bath demo – hoisting, terminal bed space, clean demo
  • Palliative and End of life care
  • Chaplaincy – role, support for patients and staff; how to support our patients’ spirituality and religious needs
  • Nutrition and hydration - impact for patients; support and dietary requirements
  • Reporting concerns
  • Infection prevention and control – PPE - Donning and Doffing; Hand Hygiene; Octenisan
  • Uniform, dress and appearance
  • Diabetes - understanding signs, symptoms – role of HCSW in supporting and reporting
  • Privacy, dignity and respect
  • Learning disabilities - reasonable adjustments; Hospital Passport
  • Sensory impairment
  • Pain management
  • Mental health awareness
  • Dysphasia SALT/Thickener requirements – theory and practical
  • Accucheck – theory and practical; competencies complete
  • DVT
  • Wellbeing – sign posting/support/Speak up - we are listening

After attending the Academy, you will complete the National Care Certificate (demonstrating knowledge and clinical skills).

This provides you with the knowledge and skills to support your practice and provides the Trust with assurances that you 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.

We also provide a HCSW AIMS course which focuses on acute illness management and a deteriorating patient course.

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.

What opportunities are available for career development?

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We offer tremendous opportunities for well-motivated and enthusiastic staff to develop their skills and build the foundations for a long term NHS career in the trust. 

It is a really exciting time for healthcare support workers who wish to work towards a registered profession.

Nursing associates

We are passionate about growing our own workforce and the healthcare support worker role is the perfect start to your career.

Our trust offers regular opportunities to train to become a Nursing associate. Whilst training you will be a paid apprentice within the trust so will earn as you learn!

Nursing associates are members of the nursing team who have gained a Nursing Associate Foundation Degree awarded by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and involves two years of higher-level study.

The role bridges the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses, to work effectively within multidisciplinary/ multi-agency teams in order to provide support and facilitate person-centred integrated care.

The Nursing Associate role was introduced in January 2017 through the Health Education England (HEE) trainee nurse associates programme. It aims to:

  • support the career progression of healthcare assistants
  • enable nurses to undertake more advanced roles
  • increase the supply of nurses by providing a progression route into graduate level nursing

The recruitment process

We advertise and interview on a monthly basis. Posts are advertised on NHS jobs and can be found by clicking the link below.

The interview dates are included with each advert. Please make sure you check this date before applying as we cannot offer an alternative.

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 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, Freeman Hospital or in the community. 

You will also be asked if you would like full or part time work and if part time how many hours you would be interested in.

An inclusive workforce

We value diversity and are committed to promoting equality in an inclusive workplace, with a workforce that reflects the communities we serve. We welcome all applications irrespective of people’s race, disability, sexual orientation, religion. belief, age or gender identity.

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