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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Healthcare Support Workers (HCSWs)

Collectively there are more than 23,000 clinical Support Workers across nursing, midwifery and allied health professions in NHSScotland.

Within the wider health and social care workforce Support Workers are widely dispersed in GP practices, community teams, care homes and provide care at home service.

NES Healthcare Support Worker team’s role

  • Support the learning and development of clinical support workers.
  • Work with team leaders to explore skills mix across multi-disciplinary teams to maximise the contribution and development of clinical support worker roles.

The Support Worker “voice” is at the heart of our programme of work and is enormously important in keeping NES in touch with what support workers want and need and letting us know if we are getting it right. The HCSW Advisory Group, Associate Practice Educator Network and HCSW Education Network are a big part of connecting us to the support worker workforce to hear the support worker voice.

Key resources

HCSW Framework

The framework supports clinical support workers to learn and develop in post or progress to a higher-level support worker post.

The framework is based around the four pillars of practice and helps support workers to identify areas for development across clinical practice, facilitating learning, service improvement and leadership.

The Development and Education Framework for Level 2-4 NMAHP Healthcare Support Workers can be used by support workers to:

  • develop in their current role
  • understand and prepare for a higher banded post
  • make informed choices about the right learning for them
  • support meaningful conversations in Personal Development Plan meetings
  • plan their future career
  • understand the contribution their role makes in supporting students and others to learn
  • identify opportunities to get involved with service improvement
  • recognise themselves as leaders and how to enhance their skills 

Induction Standards and Code of Conduct (Healthcare Support Worker)

The Scottish Government mandatory Induction Standards apply to all new Healthcare Support Workers (HCSWs) joining NHSScotland and require to be met within the first three months of service (pro rata for part-time workers).

The Induction Standards are made up of fourteen interlinked statements which have been grouped into four clusters to make them easy to apply in the workplace. They offer a way to introduce new information and to support new employees understand their role in relation to:

  • Protecting patients and the public
  • Health, safety and security
  • Working with people
  • Working and developing in the role

NES support the Induction Standards with the provision of educational resources which have been developed and reviewed in consultation with stakeholders. 

Staying in touch

The quarterly newsletter provides updates and insights in support worker learning and development. Sign up for the newsletter.


X: @NES_hcsw

Related links

Last updated: 27/10/2020

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