Healthcare Assistants

Healthcare assistants (HCAs) are hugely valued members of the nursing team.
Although there are a wide range of titles used to describe these roles, we have chosen to encompass all of these under the titles of HCA.
Healthcare assistants working in the community work across many healthcare disciplines including midwifery, mental health and learning disabilities. They work across the whole life course from birth to end of life, supporting registered nurses in the delivery of nursing care. They may be based in community setting, health centres or in General Practices.

The HCA role is often the first step onto a career ladder that can open up opportunities to train into registered roles.
In a health centre and GP surgery, healthcare assistants may carry out the following duties (this list is not exhaustive):

  • New patient and NHS health checks
  • Supporting Public Health / Prevention Programmes
  • Carrying out base line observations such as Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, Respiratory rate
  • On-going monitoring of chronic conditions such as Blood Sugar and INR monitoring
  • Assist in long term condition reviews under Registered Nurses direct/indirect supervision
  • Deliver health promotion or health education advice
  • Simple wound care and dressings
  • Adult immunisations (once trained) – influenza, pneumonia, shingles
  • Phlebotomy
  • Administering injections
  • ECG’S


  • Be caring and kind
  • Willing to provide hands-on clinical care for patients
  • Able to follow instructions and procedures and accept delegation
  • Able to work in a team.
  • Able to use their own initiative

    Have excellent:
  • Communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Observational skills
  • good literacy and numeracy skills, ideally with Functional level 2 skills in Maths and English

Please see our HCA competency booklet HERE

Basic training will include fundamental nursing skills appropriate to employment setting, and training to meet the 15 standards required by the Care Quality Commission as set out in the Care Certificate.

The Care Certificate is aimed at equipping health and social care support workers with the knowledge and skills which they need to provide safe and compassionate care. It can be done as part of a Level 2 or Level 3 Health and Social Care Programme (Apprenticeship) or as part of a robust induction when starting your career in Health and Social Care. It is free to access through:

Additional modules may also be completed depending on local needs i.e. integrated care working

HCA’s may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as:

  • Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker
  • Level 3 Senior Healthcare Support Worker

This can be through an Apprenticeship Programme - please see our Apprenticeship page for more details.

Settings who put staff forward for apprenticeships will be supported by their local Training Hubs.

HCA’s with a level 2/3 qualification have the opportunity to progress onto the Nursing Associate programme – See Nursing Associate page

Promoting Functional Skills

Do you want to develop your career but do not have your Maths and/or English at GCSE /Functional skills level 2?

Surrey County Council provide free courses, click here to book your place

This can be included as part of a level 2/3 course.

Contact us at Surrey Training Hub for further information on how we can help and support you in your development:


Healthcare assistants can work various hours or shifts depending on the needs of the practice.

Salaries vary across Primary Care but as a guide HCAs are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system at band 2 or equivalent. With further training and experience a HCA could then apply for posts at band 3 or equivalent, HCAs may want to progress to become a nursing associate or registered nurse.


Healthcare assistants (HCA), work under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional, generally a registered nurse. They are part of the nursing team and are integral to the local GP practice team and invited , where appropriate to the training hub nurse continuous professional development (CPD) events.

In Surrey training is available both face to face and online as part of the skills matrix.

HCAs are invited to join the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) as health practitioner members. The RCN runs training events and conferences so HCAs can update their skills and network with peers performing similar work.


There are several routes for recruiting an HCA into practice. A practice may decide to recruit an HCA through the apprenticeship scheme or may develop existing staff to HCA roles.

Please contact the Training hub if you need any help or support recruiting or training up your HCA.

«May 2022»
  • Meet the Surrey Training Hub's New GP Tutors

    Meet the Surrey Training Hub's New GP Tutors

    The Surrey Training Hub's team has changed over the last 6 months, but we believe 'change is good'. Our previous GP Tutors have either retired or moved onto pastures new! So, without further ado, we would like to introduce you to our current and new GP Tutors for the Surrey Training Hub. 


    Naomi Bennett - Surrey Downs GP Tutor

    Liz Nuttall - Northwest Surrey GP Tutor 

    Felicity Smee - Guildford & Waverley GP Tutor 

    Njaimeh Asamoah - East Surrey GP Tutor

    Please visit our Meet the Team page to find out more about them.



    Read more