COVID-19 (coronavirus) update.

We have implemented a number of restrictions to minimise the spread of COVID-19 at the RHN.

Read about the measures we are taking to keep our patients and residents protected.

The Putney Healthcare Assistant programme

This is a part-time course, run on five days over two weeks, for healthcare assistants (HCAs) wanting to enhance their care and practice in the carer of patients with neuro-disabilities.

The programme has been run internally over the past year and is now open to external candidates.

The aim of the programme is to enable HCAs to reflect on their practice and their contribution to the healthcare team, and to broaden and deepen their knowledge and skills in the care and rehabilitation of adults who have highly complex neurological disorders.

The programme consists of five study days run over two weeks, delivered at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN). There will be some additional self-directed learning and pre-session reading. There is no formal written assessment.

The RHN is known for the care of patients with complex enduring neuro-disability as well as patients who are on rehabilitation pathways. The course is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of nurses, doctors, dentists and psychologists, with additional contributions from art therapists, and other allied health professionals.

The recognition that patients come first in everything we do is emphasised in all teaching and facilitated sessions, with all subjects examined through a lens of ‘humanising care’ that emphasises respect, dignity, compassion and working together for patients and their families.

Course in brief

The course takes five days, over two weeks. You would be required to attend every day of the course to receive the award.

The course is designed to be a deliberate shift away from a training approach that addresses how we care for patients, to one where through discussion, we deepen our understanding of  how patients experience the care we deliver.

Topics include:

  • Humanising care and resilient practice
  • The anatomy of the brain and impact of dysfunction on personhood
  • Ambiguous loss
  • Maintaining skin integrity best practice for continence care,
  • Mouth Care Matters
  • Revisiting Nutrition and Hydration
  • End of Life and palliative Care
  • Legal and ethical issues framing care of patients with neuro-disability practice
  • Celebrating and enhancing HCA identity and contribution
  • Risk management and patient safety
  • Making sense of anguish and challenging behaviour
  • Interactions with families in challenging circumstances
  • Role modelling: acting as a buddy to colleagues

On successful completion of the programme, HCAs will be able to join the neuro-disability network.

2020 course dates

February: 5, 6, 7, 10, 11

Students are required to attend all five days to receive the award.


Course £500

Admission criteria

All candidates must be Healthcare Assistants working in the field of neuro-disability care. Experience of complex and enduring neurodisability practice is not essential but experience of care of patients with neurological deficits might be an advantage. Candidates will be interviewed following the submission of an application in which they make clear what they hope to gain from attending the programme. Candidates should evidence recent study or continuing professional development.

How to apply

To register for the course, please complete the relevant application form:

send your form to


Comments from HCAs who have completed the programme include:

‘This is the best course I have ever been to …. It has given me so many ideas that I want to implement back on the ward. I will put myself forward to attend any course going.

‘I really enjoyed the course. There was fun, honesty, reflection, sadness, happiness and a chance to really look at our role and how we can give the best care in a safe environment. I would recommend this course to all HCAs’.

‘The course gave lots of opportunity to express myself, share difference of opinion and learn from that discussion. The course helped me see how we all work together and are connected in supporting our clients, relatives and other staff. Thank you’.

‘I learned so much new knowledge and skills from the course I will share with my colleagues at work and tell them to participate in future programmes!’

Location and accommodation

Our address is listed at the bottom of this page. We’re a short bus journey from Clapham Junction or Wimbledon, and within walking distance of Putney Station and East Putney Underground Station.

If you’re coming from a long way away and need to stay over, we have overnight accommodation in our Nurses’ Home for £20 per night. If you’d like to stay, please book ahead by emailing