About healthcare assistants
Healthcare assistants can assist with a range of minor clinical duties, like taking blood samples, blood pressure checks, new patient checks, health promotion etc, under the guidance of the wider healthcare professional team. They work alongside the team and support with observing, monitoring and recording patients’ conditions, to provide joined-up care.
What can a healthcare assistant help with?
Although a healthcare assistant is not able to prescribe medication they can carry out a variety of tasks within general practice, these can include:
- Blood pressure checks
- New patient medicals
- Health promotion i.e. obesity clinics, smoking cessation clinics, and body mass (BMI) calculations
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) readings
- Removal of sutures
- Applying simple dressings
How are GPs benefitting?
Healthcare assistants play a valuable role in freeing up practice nurses and GPs time to treat more complex patient needs. This helps to reduce patient waiting times, and improve access to appointments. Healthcare assistants also directly contribute to health promotion and disease prevention.
How can patients book to see or access advice from a healthcare assistant?
Patients can be booked in to see a healthcare assistant by the team in their clinic. Patients will see a healthcare assistant in the same way they would usually see their GP or practice nurse, in a private room in the surgery.