How do I work in the UK as a healthcare assistant? Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) are staff working in support roles alongside doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in the hospital or community setting. They play a vital role in caring for people and improving their client’s quality of life.
The carrier of a healthcare assistant is quite rewarding and the healthcare assistant’s roles and responsibilities vary depending on the facility and setting they work in.
Healthcare Assistants are sometimes called care assistants, nursing assistants, auxiliary nurses, or carers, and can be a viable pathway to a more attractive position in the healthcare sector.
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Skills Needed to Work in the UK as a Healthcare Assistant
To work in the UK as a healthcare assistant, you need to have some of the following skill sets and attributes.
- Compassion to care for people of different backgrounds
- Cheerfulness and friendliness
- Willing to carry out personal care tasks for patients such as (washing, toileting, etc)
- Good listening and communication skills
- Organization skills
- Observational skills
- Ability to multitask safely and efficiently
Requirements to Work in the UK as a Healthcare Assistant
How do I become a healthcare assistant in the UK? There are no specific/compulsory qualifications required to work in the UK as a healthcare assistant. However the following might offer an advantage for individuals who want to work as a healthcare assistant in the UK.
- Care Certificate
- Diploma in Health and Social Care
- Satisfactory General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE or equivalent) grades in English and Maths
- Good literacy and numeracy
- Experience in healthcare or care work.
Requirements for Foreigners to Work in the UK as Healthcare Assistants
In addition to the above, individuals living outside the UK will require the following to migrate and work in the UK as healthcare assistants.
- Job offer from approved UK health and care sector employers
- Certificate of sponsorship
- Application for a Health and care visa (tier 2 Visa)
- Proof of English proficiency with the required score
After getting your job offer, you can now proceed to apply for your travel Visa. Ensure that you have all that’s required to be issued a visa to work in the UK as a healthcare assistant before applying. Find Work in the UK as a healthcare assistant.
Job Options for Healthcare Assistants in the UK
There are a variety of facilities in the NHS or private sector where Healthcare Assistants can work in the UK and they include the following.
- Private clinics
- Maternity services
- Nursing homes
- Residential care facility
- Patients home
- Prisons and other correction/detention facilities
Duties of a Healthcare Assistant
The duties and responsibilities of healthcare assistants in the UK are not limited to the following but broadly include:
- Taking and recording patients’ parameters such as temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, weight, and height
- Interacting with patients and their relatives
- Doing health promotion and education
- Carrying out individual patient self-care such as feeding, personal hygiene, and helping patients ambulate.
- Conducting health checks
- Making patient’s beds and keeping them comfortable
- Carrying out instructions and procedures
- Sterilizing equipment, especially in health centres and GP surgery
- Restocking hospital supplies and consumables
- Collecting and processing patient samples
Carrier Progression for Healthcare Assistants in the UK
Healthcare Assistants in the UK with experience and training can progress to become senior healthcare assistants. This Senior Healthcare Assistants can get further training to work as assistant practitioners (associate practitioners) or nursing associates with better remuneration.
In addition to the above Healthcare Assistants with appropriate qualifications and academic ability can apply for degree-level healthcare professions such as Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dietetics, Podiatrists, Occupational therapists Radiographers, Physiotherapists, and Speech and Language therapists.
Healthcare Assistant’s Annual Income in the UK
What is the healthcare assistant’s salary in the UK? How much does a healthcare assistant earn in the UK? Healthcare Assistants in the UK can earn from £18,000 to £23,000 per annum. Healthcare Assistants working in the NHS are started on band 2 and can rise to band 3 and even band 4.
The Care Certificate which is awarded to individuals who have successfully completed the Care Certificate course is an identified set of standards that health and social care workers adhere to in their daily working life.
The Care Certificate framework was developed jointly by Skills for Health, Health Education England, and Skills for Care and is based on 15 standards, which must be completed before the certificate is awarded.
Participants in the care certificate course are expected to acquire the skills, knowledge, and attributes required to provide compassionate, safe, and high-quality care and support to patients and clients.
Below are the 15 care certificate standards:
- Understand your role.
- Your personal development.
- Duty of care.
- Equality and diversity.
- Work in a person-centred way.
- Privacy and dignity.
- Fluids and nutrition.
- Awareness of mental health, dementia, and learning disability.
- Safeguarding adults.
- Safeguarding children.
- Basic life support.
- Health and safety.
- Handling information.
- Infection prevention and control.
Healthcare Assistants Jobs in the UK have come to stay and the demand is on the rise daily because of decreased number of qualified personnel and the increasing elderly population.
Thus individuals who want to migrate and work in the UK as healthcare assistants will find the HCAs role as a valid job option with opportunities for carrier progression.
Healthcare Assistants jobs in the UK have no specific qualifications, however, some certifications and experience will help you stand out when seeking a healthcare assistant job role. Find work in the UK as a healthcare assistant.