Celebrate the our health heroes

Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health launch a national campaign to highlight the vital role support workers play within the UK’s health sector and to say ‘thank you’ to unsung healthcare heroes.

#OurHealthHeroes celebrates the 798,600 people across the UK health sector who work as healthcare assistants, assistant practitioners, porters, cleaners, caterers, maintenance staff and administrative staff, by encouraging people who have benefitted from their support to share their stories and thanks.  

It’s key to ensure that they know how important they are – and don’t go unnoticed in their efforts. Why should it be that they feel undervalued – and how can it be remedied? To understand what they are facing in their positions, taking a long view of support worker roles – and their emphasis – and thinking about what functions they serve can be helpful in ensuring they are the best fit, and they are getting back what they give to their positions.

To mark the start of the campaign, Skills for Health have created a short film featuring healthcare support workers from Southmead Hospital in Bristol, which has been released to illustrate the impact and value the support workforce has on the delivery of individual patient care. 

The support workforce in numbers

  • The UK health sector employs over 2.1 million people
  • 40% (798,600) of the UK healthcare workforce are support staff
  • 25,731 people work in catering occupations representing 1% of the workforce
  • Maintenance workers number 15,000 and are the fifth largest group of support workers in the sector
  • Porters follow closely, with almost 13,000 performing an essential role in maintaining the smooth running of a hospital

Support the campaign by sharing their film with your networks and tagging #OurHealthHeroes, and sharing your personal stories of support workers on Twitter using #OurHealthHeroes.