Leeds Teaching Hospitals People

Back to profiles

Laura J Smith

Apprentice Clinical Support Worker (ACSW)

Across our sites, on the wards and in LTHT's clinics, you're more than likely to see one of our Apprentice Clinical Support Workers (or ACSWs).

ACSWs work through their training programmes to gain solid, practical, applicable skills for hospital environments.

Laura has been with the Trust for around four months after having previously worked for a children's charity. She moved into healthcare out of a desire to gain more 'hands on' experience of caring for vulnerable and sick people.

Laura said "I've had such a fantastic experience since I started here. It's such a massive difference being able to actually see people get help and get better on a daily basis; it's great to know that I have contributed to that individual getting better."

Currently there are around 200 ACSWs at LTHT, spread across our sites, helping in clinics and onwards. By working alongside our experienced staff, ACSWs can gain practical skills and learn as they work. This is alongside seminars and study days, where the apprentices are expected to devote their time towards the theoretical aspects of care.

"The educational side of my apprenticeship is really important to me. I've found out so much about the reality of a working in a busy acute hospital since I started. Everyone around me has been so supportive, from the ward sisters to consultants; they have all encouraged me to go that extra mile and demonstrated why we're so passionate about caring for people in the NHS," commented Laura.

Once her apprenticeship is complete, Laura would like to move into nursing, although she's not sure which field she would like to have a speciality in.

Laura is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. She said "It's come in handy on more than a few occasions around the Trust. People are always surprised when I talk to patients with Chinese heritage in their own language!"

She loves literature and film; enjoys the gym and being active, she even cycles into work every day, come rain or shine; and is looking forward to welcoming 'Le Tour de France' to Leeds next month.