Healthcare Support Worker

Last updated: 27 April 2021

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Healthcare Support Worker

Healthcare Support Workers (HCSW) provide a valued service to the trust and without the work they do, the hospital could not run efficiently. The key role of the HCSW is to support our medical staff and patients. HCSWs are often the person that will interact with a patient the most when they are in hospital, so being personable and building a natural rapport with people is an important part of the role. The HCSW role can also be the first step into many other roles within the NHS.

A day in the life

Under the guidance of a healthcare professional, you may be:

  • washing and dressing patients
  • serving meals and helping to feed patients
  • helping patients to move around
  • making beds
  • monitoring patients' conditions by taking their temperature and measuring their pulse, respirations and weight.




Your development

Your development as a HCSW will include essential nursing skills and you'll work towards the Care Certificate, developed by Skills for Care, Skills for Health and Health Education England and launched in 2015.

At Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU), we have 3 entry levels for our HCSW:

  • Apprentice - The HCSW apprenticeship is a work-based training programme that provides the foundations for working in the NHS. The programme is suitable to people who are new to working in a healthcare environment.
  • Trainee - Trainee HCSW are individuals who have already achieved a qualification in health and social care, either at level 2 or level 3. This entry route is ideal for college leavers or those that have previous healthcare experience.
  • HCSW - If you have the experience of working in a healthcare environment and the relevant qualifications, you can join us as a fully fledged HCSW.

 You may also be able to study for qualifications through an apprenticeship such as:

Once you've become a Senior HCSW, you could then apply to train as an assistant practitioner or nursing associate. With the appropriate qualifications/evidence of academic ability, you could also train as one of the many degree-level healthcare professionals such as a nurse, podiatrist, midwife or occupational therapist.


For more information regarding joining our HCSW team, please submit a form through the ‘Contact us’ page or contact the Human Resources team, who are more than happy to help, on 02392 286577 or email