The NHS is well known as a vast employer but it isn’t just medical staff that make up their number. There is a massive supporting cast behind the scenes which keep hospitals running smoothly and, perhaps most importantly, safely.
In an environment where people are at their most vulnerable, it’s important that the NHS and their contractors hire motivated, disciplined and community-minded candidates to ensure that patients are protected and cared for by all departments in the hospital. Let’s not forget that a hospital is a sprawling site with multiple departments all designed to support the practicalities of healing the sick and wounded.
Civvy Street takes a look at just a few of the jobs open to those who want to do their bit.
NHS domestic services staff, or hospital cleaners, are held to a much higher standard than most industrial sanitation staff due to the importance of their role within the hospital. Without cleaners to ensure sanitary conditions in every nook and cranny, hospitals would kill more patients than they cure which means that, although it may not seem like a glamorous job, becoming a hospital cleaner could be key to saving lives.
Most hospital cleaners are employed by contractors, organisations like Mitie and Sodexo, who send local staff to hospitals with staff usually paid by the hour. However, those employed by the NHS usually begin at AfC Band 1 and can expect to earn around £15-16,000 per year (Source: Payscale.com). Those looking to progress can expect to earn significantly more upon promotion to Supervisor and ultimately, to Domestic Services Manager.
Thanks to a career in the Military, Service-leavers may find that they have a number of technical skills which could be put to use in hospitals. Equipment repair; everything from crutches and wheelchairs to MRI machines, is an important part of keeping a hospital running smoothly and those with experience and qualifications can expect to earn a national average of £24,000 per year.
One of the more palliative elements of hospital care is provided via its surroundings. Many out of town hospitals are built in wide open areas with landscaped gardens and lawns designed to give patients a place to relax and escape from the clinical environment. Groundskeepers are vital to this aspect of care, keeping the grounds of the hospital; everything from hedges to car parks, presentable. This career path is likely to be suited to those who favour a career outdoors – regardless of the weather – and attracts a national average salary of £17,000. Interestingly, there is a massive gender discrepancy in groundskeeping with only 1% of the workforce surveyed by Payscale.com being women.
Porters are a vital part of the hospital and are tasked with moving patients, materials, specimens and files between departments.
No formal qualifications are needed but it can form a good basis should you wish to pursue more in-depth medical training in the future. Starting salaries are usually from £15,100 to around £18,000. Team leaders can earn up to £21,000 a year.
For those with more office-based skills, or even those who just don’t want to get their hands dirty, there are roles in hospital administration. This vital area of hospital operations ensures that appointments are kept, quotas are met, budgets are adhered to, and necessary equipment purchased.
Administration, as in any major organisation, is what keeps the wheels turning and ensures that hospitals are able to provide the best healthcare possible. Those with between one and four years of experience can expect to earn around £21,000 per year but there is scope for this to grow as you move through the organisation. Those who make their way into senior hospital management regularly earn £50,000+.
NHS Employers – www.nhsemployers.org