NHS Clinical Support Worker National Survey

08 Nov 2023

A decade after the publication of a landmark review of the health and social care clinical support workforce, the BDA is supporting a new study of this critical part of the NHS workforce by King’s College London.

Set up in 2013 in the wake of the Frances Inquiry, the Cavendish Review, found that staff such as Healthcare Assistants and Clinical Support Workers faced a range of issues and barriers at work that impeded their full deployment, development and progression. These included lack of access to occupationally relevant education, poor and inconsistent job design and a lack of career progression pathways. The review made many recommendations but only one – The Care Certificate – was adopted nationally.

Much has changed in the last ten years. There has been the introduction of a national support worker strategy called Talent for Care and the AHP support workforce strategy that includes The Competency, Education and Career Development Framework, and new apprenticeships, such as the Healthcare Support Worker one. Much though remains the same. Studies still show that support staff’s experience of work can still be constrained by the issues Cavendish uncovered.

A decade after the publication of the Cavendish Review, King’s College London is revisiting the findings of The Cavendish Review to see whether:

  1. The issues The Cavendish Review identified still characterise the experience of support staff.
  2. The solutions the review proposed are still relevant.
  3. There are other issues not identified by the original review that are relevant to the recruitment, deployment, development, and progression of support staff.
  4. There are differences in support worker’s experience of work between occupational groups, for example between nursing and Allied Health Profession support staff.

Central to the study is a national survey of support staff working in the NHS in England (see link below). This is being supported by health unions and professional bodies, as well as national bodies like NHS Employers and NHS England.

If you are a member of the support workforce, please follow the link below to complete the survey. Please also let your colleagues know about it. If you are not a member of the support workforce, please publicise the survey amongst support staff you know.

The survey is open to any member of the NHS clinical support workforce including those working in primary care or for the ambulance service. Clinical support workers are those with a patient facing role, such as Maternity Support Workers, Healthcare Assistants, Therapy Assistants, Assistant Practitioners, and Clinical Support Workers, usually employed in Agenda for Change bands 2, 3 or 4. The survey is open until 31 January 2024.

To complete the survey please click the link below: