The portering services team is an essential part of NHSScotland. They coordinate portering activities in healthcare settings, making sure that patients, materials and equipment are safely and appropriately managed.
Portering supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all areas of their working environment are appropriately staffed, assigning porters and organising rotas to achieve this.
Starting your career
Choosing subjects are school
To become a porter, you need a good standard of education. There are no entry requirements, but useful subjects include:
- Administration and IT
Work placements and volunteering
You may find it helpful to get some experience of working in healthcare by doing a work placement. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.
An apprenticeship is a good way to start your career in healthcare.
If you are interested in working in a non-clinical healthcare support role, there is a Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support.
All Healthcare Support modern apprentices study the three mandatory units of communication, health and safety, and learning development. For estates and facilities roles, you will then choose your remaining units from the non-clinical pathway options.
Other relevant Modern Apprenticeships include:
Find out more about apprenticeships at apprenticeships.scot.
You will be responsible for making sure that the portering services team runs smoothly, allocating staff and resources as required. You may also need to transport patients between departments or move equipment around the hospital.
What you’ll do
Your main tasks include:
- receiving portering requests and responding appropriately
- allocating staff to roles and assigning tasks
- organising rotas, making sure that there are enough staff on duty to cover the required work
- administrative duties related to a supervisory role, such as monitoring staff work, authorising leave or conducting performance reviews.
You may need to perform portering duties where required, such as:
- transporting patients or equipment around the hospital,
- taking samples to laboratories
- taking linen to the wards
- moving furniture
You may also be expected to drive an NHSScotland vehicle around the hospital or estate grounds.
- caring for people
- attention to detail
Who you’ll work with
You could work with:
- healthcare assistants
- security staff
- operating department practitioners
You could work in:
- acute hospitals
- community hospitals
- community treatment centres
- residential or care homes
To work as a porter in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:
- complete occupational health checks
- have a full valid driving license if you are driving an NHSScotland vehicles
- join Disclosure Scotland’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme
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 facilities services workbook provided by Health Facilities Scotland (HFS)
You may also have the chance to study for additional qualifications, including:
- SVQ Facilities Management at SCQF Level 7
- IOSH Health & Safety awarded by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Gaining these new qualifications and others will help your career prosper. You’ll be able to apply to more senior roles, and progress to portering manager or support services manager. With the appropriate qualifications and experience, you could move into other areas like estates management.