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Job Photographs

  • A man is standing in a hospital corridor, using a telephone.

    Taking instructions from a nurse on the ward.

  • A man is leaning on a hospital reception desk.  He is holding a parcel and writing on a clipboard.

    Recording a delivery.

  • A man is standing in front of a row of shelves that contain letters and parcels.  He is sorting through the letters in his hand.

    Sorting out the hospital post.

  • A man is pushing a woman in a wheelchair down a hospital corridor.

    Pushing a patient in a wheelchair.

  • A man is standing in an office.  He is looking at a pile of parcels.

    Collecting items to deliver to a ward.

  • A man is pushing a large, empty trolley down a hospital corridor.

    Returning an empty hospital trolley.

  • A man is pushing a large medical waste bin down a hospital corridor.

    Moving a medical waste bin.

  • A man is carrying a large parcel into a hospital reception area.

    Carrying a parcel to the hospital reception.

  • Hospital Porter

  • Hospital Porter

Hospital Porter

Introduction

Hospital porters take patients and equipment to hospital departments, for example, to the operating theatre or the X-ray department, or from ward to ward.

Also known as

  • Porter, Hospital
  • Porter

Video: - Carl: Porter

Video: - Peter: Team Leader

Work Activities

As a Hospital Porter, you will make sure that patients, equipment and patients' notes are in the right place at the right time. You move them from ward to ward, and to and from different parts of the hospital, for example, the X-ray department.

You might need to move patients using a stretcher, trolley or wheelchair. Porters also help to move patients to and from trolleys and beds, using equipment to help with lifting.

You will pick up and deliver equipment, blood samples and medical records, as well as moving and fitting gas cylinders. You might use trolleys or 'sack trucks' when moving heavier equipment.

Some of your other tasks include:

  • sorting and handing out laundry
  • tidying up, removing rubbish
  • cleaning trolleys
  • delivering mail and running general errands

You might drive small vehicles, called 'tugs', between departments or hospital sites.

Porters often move very frail or sick patients, or valuable pieces of equipment, so you must take a lot of care. You talk to patients, helping to reassure and comfort them as you move between parts of the hospital.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Hospital Porter, you'll need:

  • communication skills
  • to be friendly, sympathetic and tactful, with respect for patients' comfort and dignity at all times
  • practical skills
  • a sense of responsibility
  • teamwork skills and the ability to follow instructions
  • physical fitness because this is an active job

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

NHS employees are paid on a rising scale within defined pay bands, according to their skills and responsibilities. The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Band 2: £17,652 - £19,020
  • Band 3: £18,813 - £20,795

Hours of work

NHS Hospital Porters usually work 37.5 hours a week. Shift work and weekend work is common. Part-time work is possible and overtime is often available.

This career could include working on a zero hour contract.

Where could I work?

Employers are the NHS and private healthcare companies.

Opportunities for Hospital Porters occur in hospitals in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on the NHS Jobs website, on job boards, in local newspapers, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Find a Job website.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

An Intermediate Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Training

When you start, you'll usually have a brief induction course. This covers general information about the hospital, health and safety, lifting techniques and how to move specialist equipment around the hospital. Further training is usually on-the-job.

Work Experience

Relevant experience includes working with the public, especially the sick, disabled people or older adults.

Progression

With experience, you could become a Supervisor or Team Leader. After promotion, you could become a Head Porter or Porter Manager. You might also be able to train in another type of hospital work.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

This career is an exception to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that you must supply information to an employer about any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, if they ask you to.

This is different from other careers, where you only have to reveal information on unspent convictions if you are asked to.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Relevant experience includes working with the public, especially the sick, disabled people or older adults.

Statistics

  • 12% of hospital porters work part-time.

Further Information

NHS Wales Careers

Publisher: National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare

Email: abm.wedsteam@wales.nhs.uk

Website: www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/829/page/36090

NHS Jobs

Website: www.jobs.nhs.uk

Step into the NHS

NHS careers

Tel: 0345 6060655

Website: www.stepintothenhs.nhs.uk

Skills for Health

Skills for the health sector

Address: Goldsmiths House, Broad Plain, Bristol BS2 0JP

Tel: 0117 9221155

Email: office@skillsforhealth.org.uk

Website: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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Cymraeg

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