Laundry assistant

Laundry assistants, laundry supervisors and laundry managers all play an essential role in NHSScotland. It is their duty to make sure hospital departments have stocks of linen, including towels and bedsheets. They must make sure these items are processed and delivered on time and to the highest quality standards.

Laundry assistants work in the central laundry and throughout the hospital sites. They are responsible for making sure laundry is processed to the highest quality standards so that patient comfort and hygiene are maximised.

My name is Jennifer. I'm a Laundry assistant in Hillington Industrial Estate and I work for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

I bring good communication skills, good social skills, time keeping skills and also practical skills, which are needed in the many different aspects of the laundry.

What I like about my work in here is the diversity in here. There's many different cultures and nationalities. It's great to learn about different cultures, about different countries, their lives. For example, Polish people celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. We find out many different things.

I feel my job as a Laundry assistant is important as I don't feel the hospitals would be able to function properly without it. For example, if a patient is brought in to A & E without pyjamas, the pyjamas have already been laundered and sent to the nursing staff, ready for the patient.

I enjoy working on one of the ironing folders. There's always a group of us instead of individually and we have a good laugh together. I feel that working with these people makes my day.


Starting your career

Choosing subjects at school

To become a laundry assistant, you need a good standard of education. There are no entry requirements, but useful subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths

Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a good way to start your career in healthcare.

Modern Apprenticeships

A Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (non-clinical) is appropriate for people interested in working in a non-clinical healthcare support role.

Other relevant Modern Apprenticeships include:

Find out more about apprenticeships at apprenticeships.scot.

Work placement

If you’re at school or thinking of changing career, doing a work placement could help you when applying to college, university or for a job in healthcare. You’ll learn new skills, improve your knowledge and discover what it’s like to work in the health service. Find out how to apply for work experience with the NHS. It would be helpful to have some experience in linen or laundry work.

The role

You will be responsible for minimising the risk of infection. You will be part of a team that can be working in a central laundry or on a hospital site. You may assist with transportation of laundry to the wards. You must make sure laundry is clean, as soiled linen is separated to prevent the risk of infection.

What you’ll do

Your main tasks include:

  • transporting clothing or linen from wards and other patient areas
  • delivering clean linen to the wards
  • sorting linen for cleaning or washing
  • recording stock levels
  • operating industrial washing and dry-cleaning equipment
  • issue uniforms to staff

If you have experience of a sewing machine you may repair uniforms or add logos to uniforms.

Top skills

You’ll need these skills:

  • accuracy
  • collaboration
  • communicating with people
  • planning
  • organisation
  • working in a team

Who you’ll work with

You could work with:

  • laundry supervisor
  • laundry manager
  • patients

Working environment

You could work in:

  • central laundry
  • hospitals
  • residential or care homes

Useful information

To work as a laundry assistant in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:

Did you know?

NHSScotland laundries launder over 65 million articles per annum.

Learning and development

You will be encouraged to develop your career in NHSScotland and will be given training such as:

  • an introduction to the department and its procedures
  • health and safety
  • risk management
  • the linen services workbook provided by Health Facilities Scotland (HFS)

You may also have the chance to study for additional qualifications, including:

Gaining these new qualifications will help your career prosper. You’ll be able to apply to more senior roles, and progress to laundry supervisor or manager. You may also wish to move into other areas like facilities management.