NHS Careers > Explore by career > Wider healthcare team > Careers in the wider healthcare team > Clinical support staff

Clinical support

Clinical support staff provide vital assistance to healthcare professionals in diagnosing, treating and caring for patients.

In some cases, they are involved in looking after the general well-being and comfort of patients. These are all responsible and rewarding roles with a direct impact on patients' lives. They also offer an ideal entry route to many NHS careers for people with commitment and enthusiasm rather than academic qualifications.

Watch our video to hear from real-life clinical support staff. 


A full transcript of the video can be viewed here.

Clinical support staff work in a variety of settings, depending on their role, including:

  • a specific hospital department (e.g. therapy, cardiac or radiotherapy)
  • a community clinic or health centre
  • patients' homes
  • care homes
  • a hospital labour or maternity ward
  • a community delivery suite
  • a laboratory
  • a hospital neonatal or postnatal unit or clinic
  • a GP clinic

Support workers may be given the opportunity to progress to more senior support roles, such as those at assistant practitioner level.

Therapy-related roles

A range of therapy-related healthcare services are made available to NHS patients/service users. These services are provided by staff who are not regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and include staff providing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)social workers and nutritionists