Clinical Healthcare apprenticeship

A clinical support worker

Being a Healthcare Assistant is a responsible and rewarding role, having a direct impact upon patients’ lives. Healthcare Assistants are often described as the bedrock of the Nursing service.

The title Healthcare Assistant covers a range of occupations including nursing assistant, clinical support workers, nursing auxiliaries and therapy assistants.

A Healthcare Assistant provides personal care duties for patients and provide vital assistance to healthcare professionals in diagnosing, treating and caring for patients. Healthcare Assistants can work in therapy, and assist physiotherapists, radiographers, podiatrists, speech therapists, dieticians and occupational therapists. Their duties might include preparing patients for therapy, setting up any equipment.

These are rewarding support roles with a direct impact on patient experience and offer an ideal entry route to a wide range of NHS careers.

"The support and help I have had off other members of staff especially my tutor and assessor have really helped me to carry on going even when things have gotten tough. It has also helped me to finally figure out a way to reach my career goal of becoming a nurse. For someone who is young I would never have thought I would be given the chance to achieve what I have achieved today." Hannah Richmond


Megan Sinclair-Brown Physiotherapy

Sanchez Hall - Radiology

Sanchez Hall

Radiology Support Worker in the Radiology department

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship here?

I really enjoy helping others and the apprenticeship allowed me to do this. I love seeing patients’ anxious smiles being replaced with smiles after their examinations, and the difference my support makes to parents and children. I also liked the fact that I got training in being a Support Worker, and I now enjoy working in my clinical post and support others in their roles. I also enjoyed the support aspect of booking in patients and helping with the baby hip clinic. My team mates are great to work with and very supportive of me.

What did you enjoy the most about your apprenticeship?

I was given the opportunity to speak at the Bands 1-4 Consultation, and I also spoke confidently for the Bands 1-4 National Strategy event in March at the NEC. The latter particularly was a challenge, as I have never spoken at such a widely recognised event before, and I got to speak about my job role and the difference that Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s apprenticeship programme has made to me, giving me the opportunity to start my career within the hospital.

I also enjoyed learning about the role of the Radiology department within the hospital. In April 2014, I was also awarded the Star of the Month Award for all my achievements within the department, and for having a great and positive effect.

What experience did you gain from your apprenticeship?

On my apprenticeship journey, I encountered many challenges and learned many skills that have supported me. I realised my love for working with patients, booking in portable scans and helping with admin while learning on the job and completing my portfolio tasks.

What would you say to other people considering applying for an apprenticeship?

I think it’s a great opportunity that leads to many more opportunities and the ability to develop skills and learn and earn at the same time. The benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship is that it develops your learning skills that will in the future help you to gain a permanent job. It will enable an apprentice to boost their confidence, communicate effectively within a multidisciplinary team and use problem solving skills to find a solution in challenging situations.

What are your future plans?

I hope to become a Nurse or a Radiologist. My time here at Birmingham Women's and Children’s Hospital has given me the desire to work harder to achieve my goals.

What type of roles are available

Many clinical support workers assist healthcare professionals in the delivery of patient care. They work with an individual practitioner or a team, taking on some of the more routine tasks such as welcoming and preparing patients, explaining treatment and updating patient records.

Roles include:

You can read more about the different roles by clicking here 

Career progression

This can be a great stepping-stone to progressing up the NHS career ladder. You could be supported to progress into further training, such as a foundation degree to become an assistant practitioner or a senior healthcare assistant. You could also go further and with the right qualifications/evidence of academic ability, as a healthcare professional such as a nurse, podiatrist, midwife or occupational therapist.

Visit the Health Careers website to explore more about the role and where it can lead to.

The qualification

Healthcare support workers (HCSWs) work as part of a team providing high-quality and compassionate care to individuals. You will carry out well-defined routine clinical duties like monitoring an individual’s conditions (by checking things like blood pressure, temperature or weight), and checking on their overall progress, comfort and wellbeing.

Depending on where you work, you may also help them to eat, drink, wash, dress or go to the toilet.  You will prepare individuals for healthcare activities carried out by other members of the healthcare team, looking after them before, during and/or after those activities in line with their care plan. You will also carry out non-clinical duties and, depending on where you work, this could include things like keeping records, making beds, tidying up your work area, returning or cleaning the equipment used during a clinical activity. You will be able to address straightforward problems in your day-to-day work, reporting concerns and changes to the appropriate person in a timely manner. HCSWs work in a range of healthcare settings and your team may include workers from both health and social care. You will report to a registered healthcare practitioner who will directly or indirectly supervise your work.

We offer two qualifications at Level 2 and Level 3

Healthcare Support Worker Level 2

Further information on the qualification can be found at:

Senior Healthcare Support Worker Level 3

Further Information on the qualification can be found at:

How to apply

You can apply through the National Apprenticeship Service website or via the NHS Jobs Website. Applications are then shortlisted against the set criteria on the relevant person specification. Please note you must be 18 to apply for Clinical Apprenticeships.

What happens after I apply?

Your application form will be submitted for short-listing process, which involves assessing whether you meet the criteria required on the person specification for the role.

​Candidates who meet the criteria will be invited to attend an interview.

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