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Senior Healthcare Support Worker

Senior Healthcare Support Workers (SHCSWs) support registered practitioners to deliver high quality, compassionate health and social care to people.

SHCSWs carry out a range of clinical and non-clinical healthcare or therapeutic tasks, under the direct or indirect supervision of the registered healthcare practitioner. They work in a range of services eg hospital, primary, community, health or day case units and many other settings.


In the NHS, Senior Healthcare Assistants are paid at Band 3 of the Agenda for Change pay scales

Entry requirements 

  • Prior experience as a support worker
  • Level 3 (SCQF – 6):
     - City and Guilds 3 or
     - NVQ 3  or
     - BTEC National Diploma  
  • Level 2 English and Maths

The role

Duties and responsibilities will vary slightly depending on the role, sector and industry that you are working in. To see the clinical and non clinical aspects of the role, click on the links below to expand.

  • Undertake a range of physiological measurements on adults 
  • Assist with tissue viability risk assessments 
  • Assist with caring for wounds
  • Obtain and test samples and other specimens
  • Support frailty, end of life care
  • Contribute to discharge from services
  • Monitor and maintain the environment, equipment and resources; perform first line calibration on clinical equipment and manage stock control 
  • Assist nurses with delegated clinical tasks
  • Recognise limitations in mental capacity and respond appropriately
  • Other clinical tasks are determined by your local work setting and policies e.g. supporting patients to receive medication or non-oral treatments; monitoring the effects of medication; caring for stomas, taking ECGs, caring for individuals with catheters or nasogastric tubes, carrying out screening activities (e.g. hearing or vision).

All that level 2 staff do plus:

  • Promoting health and wellbeing
  • Duty of Care
  • Person centred care and treatment
  • Communication
  • Personal, people and quality improvement
  • Health, safety and security

Your responsibilities

  • Duties are delegated to you in line with care plans
  • Not all duties are routine and you will need to use your knowledge, experience and understanding to take decisions within your area of responsibility
  • You are accountable for your work and for reviewing 
  • The role is undertaken following a period of experience in healthcare so you are able to demonstrate best practice and act as a role model
  • You may supervise or guide the healthcare support worker.
  • You follow the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers

Where it could lead...

After a period of working and gaining experience you may be able to work towards training as a Level 4 Assistant Practitioner or a Nursing Associate. 

Healthcare Support Worker

Find out more about the Healthcare Support Worker role, including entry requirements, pay and educational standards.

Assistant Practitioner (AP)

Find out more about the Assistant Practitioner role, including entry requirements, pay and educational standards.
Careers HCA green uniform closeup 250x100

Nursing Support Workers

Career resources for Healthcare Assistants, Assistant Practitioners, Nursing Associates and Support Workers.