From our Operations Centres in Newburn and Hebburn, Health Advisors are the first point of contact with patients in need of front line medical care or transportation and, as you can imagine, this is not like your usual contact centre.
While not every 999 or 111 call we deal with is a life threatening emergency, our Health Advisors utilise a medical assessment tool called NHS Pathways as well as their excellent communication, questioning and problem solving skills to assess patient need and provide the relevant level of medical assistance.
Our 999 and NHS111 call taking operations can be very rewarding in busy, demanding and highly pressured environments. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days of the year.
Our Health Advisors have to remain calm in challenging circumstances, accurately recording patient information into computer systems whilst reassuring callers and offering practical support. Our staff must be able to make sound decisions, respond quickly to requests and multi-task.
Full training and mentoring is given, following which you will be able to utilise the assessment tool to evaluate and direct patients to the most appropriate healthcare provider, which may include asking them to make their own way to hospital, referring them to another healthcare professional or providing an ambulance response.
You will need to have:
Three GCSEs including English at grade C or above (or equivalent) or experience of answering telephone calls in a very busy environment.
You will need to have experience of handling stressful situations.
You need to be able to work shifts including nights, weekends and bank holidays depending on your rota.
You will be paid at Band 3 and will also be paid for unsocial hours you work.
You will have a 5 week training course and a workplace mentor who will work with you to sign you as competent before you take any calls on your own.
You will be trained in 111 first and then after a period of time you will be trained to take 999 calls.
You will be asked to complete a NHS jobs application form where you will need to evidence the requirements in the person specification.
You will then be invited to attend an open day to talk more about the role, the shifts and the training involved. At this point you will also undertake a group assessment designed to identify those candidates who demonstrate some of the required competencies.
Successful candidates will then be invited to attend an interview which will also involve a roleplay exercise.
Within the Emergency Operations Centre there are a number of ways you can progress. There are Band 4 Senior Health Advisors who provide advice, guidance and support to their colleagues while also assisting with more complex calls and who provide a link between Health Advisors and Clinicians. There are also Team Leaders who are each responsible for managing Health Advisors as well as day to day shift management. We also have a team of Trainers dedicated to the EOC plus other managerial and support roles that you can progress to through our internal recruitment process.