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Hospital porter

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Hospital porters move patients and goods around a hospital.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,500 to £19,750 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37.5 per week

1. Entry requirements

Employers usually expect a good standard of literacy and numeracy. Some may ask for GCSEs in English and maths, or equivalent qualifications.

You may find it useful to have experience of working in a caring role. If you don’t have any experience, you could volunteer in a hospital or a care home. Contact the voluntary services coordinator or manager at your local NHS trust for further advice.

As you'll be working with children or vulnerable adults, you'll need enhanced background checks, which your employer will arrange for you.

You may need a driving licence for jobs that involve working at different sites during a shift.

2. Skills required

You'll need the ability to:

  • communicate sensitively with patients and their families
  • act calmly and quickly in emergencies
  • cope well with sickness, death and distress
  • follow instructions

3. What you'll do

You could work for the NHS or a private hospital.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • moving patients, in beds or wheelchairs, between wards and departments
  • delivering clean linen to wards
  • collecting waste, some of which may be hazardous
  • moving furniture and medical equipment safely
  • transferring files, specimen samples and pharmacy boxes to different parts of the hospital
  • moving deceased patients to the mortuary
  • dealing with post and parcels

In some hospitals you'll help with security, which could involve working on the reception desk or doing patrols.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,500 to £15,750

Experienced: £16,000 to £18,250

Highly Experienced: £18,250 to £19,750 (team leader)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work around 37.5 hours a week, including shifts and weekends.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team leader or supervisor. You may need to have, or be working towards, qualifications in supervision and management.

You could also move into a related role like the ambulance service, healthcare assistant work, or nursing.

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Last updated: 11 September 2018