Health Care Support Workers (Jean Bishop II)

Thank you to my friend and avid reader Freda for pointing-out something I had missed in today’s blog about the Jean Bishop Integrated Care Centre in Hull.

‘So many assessments – completed individually or as a panel? Tiring? Was thinking Doris would have to stay overnight?’

That was her consideration of someone visiting the centre and undergoing multiple holistic assessments. It is all very well being thorough and covering all bases, but, if you are frail and don’t get out much even a four-hour session seeing different people is likely to wipe you out.

I am not sure if they have been collecting data on this aspect of the process. (I’m sure they are).

Earlier, I didn’t mention some team members who are fundamental to the assessments at the Jean Bishop Centre, who conduct a preliminary review, at times in the patient’s home on a day different to their visit;

I didn’t mention this group of staff and on reflection that is inexcusable.

Indeed, you don’t see much about Health Care Support Workers (HCSW’s) in the media – they are a cohort of staff, fundamental to the running of the NHS, present in hospitals, clinics, care homes, GP surgeries and anywhere people interact with care.

Not only this, HCSW’s are actually of us much importance to the effective operation of the NHS as nurses and doctors, as without them, the system would collapse – to a greater extent than any effects of Brexit or immigration restrictions.

HCSW’s are the staff who help you get dressed in the morning in hospital, they might bring your meal or take you to the loo; they also might take your blood test, dress your wound, check your blood sugar or perform an ECG, complete a health assessment or dementia check.

HCSW’s are the eyes and ears of the clinical team, conveying essential information to those they treat and, often they are able to learn more about a patient’s fears or apprehensions than someone like myself as there isn’t necessarily the impairment of hierarchy; having ‘doctor’ before your name is useful if you want to prescribe medicines, order x-rays and remain genderless in the eyes of the internet, it isn’t fantastic at breaking-down walls and bringing people together.

I believe a person is more likely to relate What Matters to You to someone who is a HCSW than to a doctor or nurse.

You talk to your friends and family; you don’t easily share anxieties with those in authority.

I may be getting off the point, but I feel this is very important.

Beyond this is the reality that what was once considered to be within the remit of a doctor, nurse or therapist ten years ago is now considered de rigueur for a support worker; when I was a medical student, if someone needed an ECG, you’d call the junior doctor; administer a medicine or test, call the nurse or doctor, monitor mobility, transfers in and out of bed, leg length discrepancy and all that, the therapist.

Things have become more democratic these days and, sensible.

I will not mention the pay discrepancy; perhaps that is for another day.

You discover that you don’t need to have a degree in anatomy and physiology to determine that someone is in pain and needs something done or a qualification in dermatology to identify a dodgy rash.

Thank goodness for diversity within health and social care, without which we would fail.

So, yes, HCSW who beyond training more doctors and nurses are central to us all getting along and receiving the care and treatment we require.

Thank you.

Here is a list of some of the tasks a HCSW can undertake – please feel free to add-on below;

Syringe ears

Apply dressing

Clean a wound

Stitch a wound

Take blood

Give an injection

Test for dementia

Test for depression

Test urine

Assess wellbeing

Assess mobility

Deliver physiotherapy

Support occupational therapy


Treat anxiety and depression



Kiss / hug



Assess pain




Support people living with dementia

I need help with some of these details; I am showing my ignorance, so, please help.

jean again with david.jpeg


Published by rodkersh1948

Trying to understand the world, one emotion at a time.

One thought on “Health Care Support Workers (Jean Bishop II)

  1. Your list is very comprehensive and you do mention in the earlier paragraphs help with meals and personal care.
    This is a great step forward to have this integrated centre. It would be wonderful to have well being teams too plus BFriend and a range of bespoke care within the area..
    Are HCSW allowed to give medication, for example if pre-sortedd by pharmacy into daily, maybe timed, dispensers?
    There are some very specialist individual needs and wants, taking out hot ashes accompanied shopping, returning library audiobooks, posting cadds/bills/Rnib/Calibre audiobooks!


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