Healthcare Assistant

Healthcare Assistant

Healthcare assistants work with healthcare professionals across our hospital and community setting. 

About the role

Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) provide some of the most fundamental support to our patients, providing compassionate personalised care with the best interests of others in mind.

The nature of the role varies from day to day but includes the following duties:

  • Work under the direction of a registrant
  • observing, monitoring and recording patients' observations by taking blood pressure, temperatures, pulse, respirations and weight
  • chaperoning patients
  • providing care on a one-to-one basis
  • communication with patients, relatives, and carers
  •  support the registrants in delivering the care the patients require orders supplies and maintains the cleanliness and tidiness of the environment
  • personal care including, hygiene, nutrition and hydration, toileting needs and overall reassurance, comfort and safety
  • promoting positive mental/physical/nutritional health with patients
  • wash and dress patients
  • serve meals and help to feed patients
  • help people to move around
  • make beds
  • make patients feel comfortable
  • monitor patients' conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respirations and weight

How to become a HCA

There are no set entry requirements to become a healthcare assistant. It is a role in which you can learn on the jobs at entry level. All you’ll need is to show the Trusts visions and values by being:

  • caring and kind
  • respectful
  • willingness to be hands-on with patients
  • able to follow instruction and procedures
  • able to work in and as a team
  • able to use your own initiative to problem solve

You will also need:

  • good communications skills
  • organisation skills
  • observation skills

Opportunities to progress

Joining the Trust as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) is a great way to begin your healthcare career. It offers experience and routes through to nursing careers, and to work towards an appropriate foundation degree.

With experience and further training, you can become a senior healthcare assistant. Following this, an assistant practitioners or nursing associate.

With qualifications, the path to becoming a nurse, podiatrist, midwife or occupational therapist is available through this career choice.

Benefits of being an HCA at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

At the Trust we also have several reward and recognition schemes to recognise the invaluable contribution teams and colleagues make towards improving the quality of our patient care. Including, MY Star – an opportunity for Trust staff to nominate a colleague or team who they feel has truly demonstrated the Trust’s values and worked beyond their duty.

All these are in addition to the standard benefits that you expect from the NHS, such as:

  • competitive pay
  • comprehensive and generous workplace pension scheme
  • generous holiday entitlement with the option to buy and sell days
  • a range of support and policies to help you balance your work, family commitments and personal well-being

You can view our full employee benefits package.

The Clinical Skills Tutors

The Clinical Skills Tutors are an experienced team of six former health care assistants (HCAs).

The team is part of the Workforce and Organisational Development who work across all three hospital sites in rotation.

They work in partnership with Wakefield College to help support apprentice healthcare assistants and provide a base for apprentices to undertake their off the job hours which includes study days at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

Apprentices at the Trust have both the support of the Clinical Skills Tutors but also from college assessors, as part of learner progress review to help support apprentices to achieve their qualification.

To uphold the Trust’s values and ensure high standards of care are maintained, the team provides support and guide new and existing healthcare assistants to help them develop knowledge and skills whilst in their roles.

Healthcare assistant apprentices are supported in their learning journey from their very first day at the Trust to when they gain their qualification. 

The Care Certificate

The Care Certificate is delivered monthly at Dewsbury to new starters, it is a two-week programme covering 15 standards. It also covers the SIPPS programme and corporate induction. The team carry out a significant amount of training with the healthcare assistants in their own clinical environments to support them in their new role. This usually takes place once they have completed the Care Certificate.

Candice Smith, Clinical Skills Tutor, said:

“Our roles and responsibilities are to support healthcare assistants in their new journey in the form of providing training, guidance and giving advice and encouragement to them all.”

As part of their training healthcare assistants are required to complete a core competencies booklet, and this is checked by the tutor team when they visit the ward. Candice adds:

“We have had some great feedback from HCAs after they have completed the Care Certificate, saying they have enjoyed it and that they have learnt a great deal in the time they have spent with us.”

Another crucial part of the team’s duties is to provide pastoral care to the healthcare assistants. Candice said:

“For any HCA who has concerns or fears, is worried or is emotionally affected by their experiences, we make every effort to address these issues to ensure their safety and wellbeing, so they are able to reach their full potential in their educational journey.” 

The Clinical Skills Tutors are available to healthcare assistants from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm for help and support with training and any requirements in ward areas.

If you would like further information about the Clinical Skills Tutors and the service they provide please contact them via email at: midyorks.carecertificate@nhs.net

How to apply

You need to register online at NHS Jobs to be eligible to apply for a position with Mid Yorkshire. NHS Jobs gives you access to all the vacancies the NHS has across the UK, but you can set your online preferences to search for specific jobs at Mid Yorkshire.

The length of time a job advert is posted for will be specific to the role; if a closing date is not given, it means the job advertisement will close as soon as there are sufficient numbers of applicants. Make sure you submit your application in good time as applications will not be accepted after the closing date has passed or once a significant number of applications have been received.

If you have been shortlisted, you will be contacted online, via your NHS Jobs account and invited to interview. Your interview may be conducted virtually, or in person – please ensure you read your invite thoroughly as this will explain all the details you need, including information regarding any other assessments and the documents required on the day. It’s important that you accept your invitation via your NHS Jobs account so that the interview panel know to expect you.

If you apply for a position and your application is not shortlisted, you will receive an update via your NHS Jobs account. Our Recruitment Team will also send you an email confirming who you can contact to obtain feedback.

Following your interview, you will be contacted by a member of the selection panel, who will provide feedback and confirm your outcome. If you are successful, the details of your appointment will be shared with the Recruitment Team who will issue you with a Conditional Offer and explain the next steps in the process. This will include details of the pre-employment checks required for your role. Please ensure you keep in touch with the Recruitment Team throughout this period to help us ensure you can commence in post as soon as possible.