Health (Clinical Healthcare Support) (England)

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Framework details

Framework ID: FR02995
Issue number: 16
Issued: 14 August 2014

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Health (Clinical Healthcare Support) (England)
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Issued by
Skills for Health

Contact name: Anne Clarke
Telephone number: 0117 9221155
Please download the framework for email contact information.

Purpose

Definition:
An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. On completion of the Apprenticeship, an apprentice will be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the health sector.

About the health sector:
The health sector comprises those working in the NHS (public sector) as well as voluntary and private healthcare providers and employs over 2 million people. The range of roles within the sector is very varied and the NHS careers site lists in the region of 300 different jobs. Individuals are likely to stay within the health sector for the majority of their working lives although they are also likely to change between different job roles and different employers as their career progresses.

Whilst all roles in the health sector are open to both male and female applicants, a large proportion of the health sector workforce is female. This is due in part to the flexible terms and conditions many employers offer but also varies from role to role. As a whole the workforce within the health sector tends to reflect the population within the local community it serves. As the UK population as a whole becomes older and lives longer so does the healthcare workforce. Widening participation policies apply and health sector employers recruit accordingly and may use their apprenticeship schemes as a means to address some of these issues.

There is a range of challenges for the health sector as a whole: an ageing population creates higher demand for services and ongoing care; patients have a greater choice of which services and treatments they access; and the current economic climate means that budgets are tight.

Apprenticeships are one of the many ways in which employers within the health sector are seeking to address some of these increasing pressures. A qualified and competent support workforce is vital to the patient experience and to the smooth running of services. Clinical healthcare support workers/healthcare assistants/emergency care assistants tend to have delegated responsibility for a range of tasks which enables the Health Professionals (eg nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, paramedics) to fulfil their own roles more effectively.

About this framework:
This framework supports the broad vision of the sector to develop an increasingly skilled, flexible and effective workforce whilst maintaining high quality and safe care for patients and addresses specific outcomes of the Skills for Health Sector Skills Assessment 2011.

www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/about-us/resource-library/doc_download/328-sfh-summary -sector-skills-assessment-2011.html

Skills for Health is committed to engaging with employers, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the development of Apprenticeship frameworks. Engagement and consultation is through meetings including face to face and teleconferences and e-consultation. Consultation ensured that employer views are reflected in this framework on the minimum duration, the on and off the job Guided Learning Hours, the inclusion of ICT functional Skills and the use of a QCF qualification to meet the requirements for ERR and PLTS. Apprentices will learn new skills and knowledge whilst carrying out real work as part of the healthcare team. Each apprentice is employed under terms and conditions laid out in an Apprenticeship Agreement between the employer and apprentice (applicable to all apprenticeships that commence after 6 April 2012) and are paid at least the applicable rate under the Apprenticeship National Minimum Wage.

About the role of Clinical healthcare support worker/healthcare assistant:
Clinical healthcare support workers/healthcare assistants provide vital assistance to healthcare professionals in diagnosing, treating and caring for patients. Clinical healthcare support workers work in a variety of healthcare settings, depending upon their role, including:

• a specific hospital department (e.g. stroke care, gastroenterology or oncology)
• a community clinic or health centre
• patients’ homes
• care homes
• a GP clinic

It is possible that clinical healthcare support workers/ healthcare assistants may undertake either an Intermediate or an Advanced Apprenticeship. This is because the same job title is used within the health sector for roles which may have a wide variety of duties and differing levels of responsibility.


As a guide, clinical duties for an Intermediate Apprenticeship may include:
• generally assisting with patients’ overall comfort and wellbeing
• assisting healthcare professionals with clinical tasks
• monitoring patients’ conditions 
• helping people to mobilise
• supporting people to meet basic care needs such as washing and dressing, eating and drinking, going to the toilet
• bed making

Clinical duties for an Advanced Apprenticeship may include all of the above plus:
• taking physiological measurements
• carrying out an extended range of more complex delegated clinical tasks such as performing routine ECG procedures, wound care or catheter care
• supervising junior team members

 

About the role of Emergency Care Assistant:
Emergency Care Assistants undertake the Advanced Apprenticeship and provide vital support to paramedics and other healthcare professionals. They work shifts and are based from either a local ambulance station or a hospital.

As a guide, duties may include:
• moving people safely
• observing, reporting and recording a patient’s vital signs
• generally assisting with patients’ overall comfort and wellbeing
• recording information from carers or others at the scene
• driving the ambulance or other emergency vehicle
• working the radio and communication devices
• maintaining and caring for medical and life support equipment
 

These are responsible and rewarding support roles with a direct impact on patients’ lives. They also offer an ideal entry route to a wide range of NHS careers.

Download framework

Health (Clinical Healthcare Support) (England)
(PDF document 2.72 MB)