The difference between a band 2 and band 3 healthcare assistant

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

A healthcare assistant or HCA is an integral part of a patient's healthcare journey, ensuring that their experience is as comfortable as possible.

What is a band 2 healthcare assistant?

Role and responsibilities

Band 2 healthcare assistants cover non-clinical tasks relating to a patient’s personal care. They assist patients to make sure they are cared for and their experience is as comfortable as possible.

Typical duties for a band 2 HCA based in a hospital include:

  • Toileting
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Support with meals
  • Making beds
  • Assisting patients with their appearance
  • Recording patient information

Training and qualifications

There are no set entry requirements to work as a band 2 healthcare assistant, but you may be asked for your GCSE or BTEC healthcare qualifications. Some employers will expect you to demonstrate paid or voluntary healthcare experience either through a college course, apprenticeship or working towards the role and knowledge of NHS values. Personal skills and characteristics are equally as important in an altruistic role like band 2 HCA, so you’ll thrive if you are caring, kind, cheerful, friendly, willing to help, able to follow instructions and work well as part of a multidisciplinary team.

As part of training and development HCAs will obtain The Care Certificate which is a set of standards that healthcare workers adhere to in their daily lives. This certificate ensures all workers have the same introductory skills, knowledge, and behaviours to provide compassionate, safe, and high-quality care and support.


Band 2 HCA pay starts at £11.45 hourly and £22,383 annually with 2 years until pay progression.

What is a band 3 healthcare assistant?

Role and responsibilities

Band 3 HCA’s cover a limited range of clinical care duties which have been delegated to them based on their skills and services being covered. Typical duties for a band 3 HCA include:

  • Taking blood pressure
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Routine maternal and neonatal observations
  • Observing patients for signs of agitation or distress
  • Wound observations and simple wound dressing
  • Removal of peripheral cannula urinalysis, and removal of catheter


HCAs who gain experience and qualifications can progress to higher roles. Becoming a band 3 HCA or band 4 assistant practitioner are the most common pathways. Band 3 HCA pay starts at £11.67 hourly and £22,816 annually with 2 years until pay progression.

The key difference between a band 2 and 3 healthcare assistant

Band 2 healthcare assistants primarily focus on personal care tasks for patients, including toileting, bathing, dressing, and recording patient information. On the other hand, band 3 healthcare assistants handle a limited range of clinical duties, such as blood pressure monitoring, wound observations, and catheter removal. Both bands have opportunities for pay progression after 2 years and require competency signoff.

Explore HCA opportunities with GP World

GP World has HCA opportunities available for Band 3 healthcare assistants with phlebotomy experience. If you’re an HCA Phlebotomist and want to speak to a member of the team about the work available, register with GP World today.

Register for job alerts from GP World

Get access to a wide variety of exciting opportunities, as well as an online account to manage your employment. Tailor your job alerts, save your favourite jobs and manage your applications all through your online account.  

Create an account