Case studies

Becky, healthcare assistant

Becky worked in admin from leaving school at 16, including in regional TV, the aerospace industry and for a local authority. Twelve years ago, aged 38, she decided to change career and be a healthcare support worker. She also now helps with the HCSW recruitment and provides pastoral support to new HCSWs at her trust. Becky says: “As soon as I started volunteering at my local hospital, I knew healthcare was the role for me and, aged 38, it was time to make a complete career change. I’ve worked in stroke rehab, on a surgical ward and in elderly care and have loved every minute. I love having that patient contact and I’ve never looked back. I only wish I’d made the change sooner.”

Shane, student nurse

After 24 years in the Army, Shane first worked for a veterans’ charity and in social care, before becoming a healthcare assistant in the forensic learning disabilities service of his local mental health trust. He went on to secure a trainee nursing associate role before being accepted onto a registered nursing degree apprenticeship programme. He’s now a full-time student nurse. Shane says: “Being a healthcare support worker is a good entry level role, but if you do want to progress further you can use it as a springboard to a nursing career. I’m really glad I chose that role as it gives you an understanding of how the NHS runs, how wards and teams run, and you can see which area you might like to work in or specialise in.”

Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICS cabin crew career framework

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS) developed a specific career framework for ex-airline cabin crew who wanted to make the most of their customer service and first aid experience by joining the NHS. Following initial mandatory training, either face-to-face or using e-Learning for Healthcare’s cabin crew patient care module, staff can be deployed as HCSWs. After completing the Care Certificate, they can progress to nurse associates and onward to registered nurses, or equivalent, with further training.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust recruits apprentice clinical support workers (ACSWs) based on their values. As part of the recruitment and selection process, applicants discuss the role of the ACSW in detail with the apprenticeships team to understand the responsibilities and expectations of the role, before attending an assessment day. At the assessment day, candidates participate in scenarios such as looking after a patient who is complaining of pain. The behaviours the candidates demonstrate at assessment allows the trust to assess if they are in-line with the ‘Leeds Way Values’ – patient-centred, accountable, collaborative, empowered and fair – and so can be successful in the role.