Thinking differently about support workers

Our new short film promotes the valuable role that support workers (SWs) fulfil within therapy teams and the services that they deliver to patients. 

On the ward they are the main point of contact for the nursing staff, they can do referrals, discharge discussions with families and other MDT members…by providing them with that autonomy, they thrive on having that responsibility.

Hannah Rooney, therapy lead and neuro physio, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The film emphasises the significant contribution that support workers make to patient care and rehabilitation. It also highlights the benefits to the wider workforce when support workers are part of the team.  

It has been produced and promoted to tackle some of the myths about these roles and to raise awareness of the benefits of support worker recruitment and development.  

By watching and sharing this film, we hope that our physiotherapy members and other healthcare professionals can see the benefits of utilising support workers, including: 

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    The opportunity to expand workforce and safely meet patient needs 
  • Freeing up physiotherapists to work with more complex patients 
  • Expanding the skills base of teams by valuing support workers and encouraging them to progress in their career and take on more responsibility 
  • Adapting to the additional demands generated by the pandemic  

The overall message is that by valuing support worker roles, capacity can be broadened to meet demands and the profession can progress its ambitions for the future of patient care.  

When they are appropriately trained and have the right qualifications to deliver the rehabilitation, develop that rapport with the patients its just a key part of our service – we couldn’t work without them.

Janet Thomas, team lead physio, NHS Fife

What to do next


Please share this film amongst your colleagues and promote on your social media profile. 

For ideas on how you can use the film to influence workforce planning for support workers please view the blog post on the iCSP influencers network.

If you have any queries or would like more information about Support Workers please visit our support workers hub or contact CSP Enquiries 0207 306 6666 

Thank you 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in making this film, particularly the staff and patients of: 

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    Support worker Steve Robertson
    Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust 
  • NHS Fife 
  • Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust


Support workers add huge value not only to the team but also to patient care.

Paula Deacon, clinical lead and advanced practice physio, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
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