BE AN NHS 111 HEALTH ADVISOR (CALL HANDLER)
As part of improving access to urgent care services for patients, SCAS operates the NHS 111 single point of access service. This enables patients to call a dedicated number 24/7 for health advice and information using a standard assessment process. The NHS 111 service operates 365 days a year and responds to callers over a 24-hour period.
Using NHS Pathways (a clinical assessment tool), the NHS 111 Health Advisor (Call Handler) will assess the needs of the caller and implement necessary action ranging from dispatching an ambulance to making a referral to the appropriate available service, or simply providing basic advice.
These are some of the essential criteria you will need to be successful in an entry level role within NHS 111, more detailed criteria are available in the Person Specification for the role:
- Excellent communication skills, especially the ability to speak clearly over the telephone
- Customer service experience
- Telephone and general administration experience
- Experience in use of IT systems and ability to input data accurately
- Ability to work calmly especially when under pressure
- GCSE English at grade C or higher and GCSE maths at grade D or higher (or equivalent qualifications)
- NVQ 2/3 Customer Services – or equivalent demonstrable experience
- Fast accurate typing skills (equivalent to at least 40 wpm)
To apply, click ‘Find jobs now’ or send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have any questions, please call 01869-365000 option 1 for the recruitment team.
What is the package?
- Salary: Band 3 (plus Unsocial Hours (USH) in line with Section 2 of Agenda for Change)
- Hours: Predominantly part-time with occasional full-time hours available
- Location: Bicester, Oxfordshire, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire & Otterbourne, Hampshire
- Annual leave: Minimum 27 days plus statutory public holidays, pro rata for part-time staff
- Shift pattern: Evenings, nights and weekends, various shifts
High flying Sian splits her time between helping patients for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust as a NHS 111 Health Advisor and helping passengers as a Cabin Crew Member for Virgin Atlantic.
I had been with Virgin Atlantic for eight years, flying across the airline’s network to the United States, the Caribbean, South Africa and Pakistan. But when the Covid-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, an increasing amount of the flights I was scheduled to work on were cancelled until all international passenger flights pretty much stopped and I found myself on furlough.
I’m not the sort of person to just sit around all day. I wanted to do something and knew that the NHS was under a lot of pressure with the Covid pandemic. So, when I saw an advert for people to work for SCAS and its NHS 111 service I applied for the Health Advisor role.
I started in April 2020 just after the first lockdown was announced. I used to travel to Bicester on the M40 and in those first few months there was virtually no traffic. Initially, I was one of the team taking just Covid-related calls. The NHS 111 service was under enormous pressure having to cope with a massive increase in calls from people worried about or with Covid symptoms, as well as all the other patients calling for urgent medical help or advice.
I worked full-time for NHS 111 from April to October 2020. There had been two rounds of redundancies at Virgin Atlantic during that period and I thought it was only a matter of time before I suffered the same fate. However, in October 2020 the airline called me back to the flight roster again.
Whilst I love working for Virgin Atlantic, I felt I had unfinished business with NHS 111 and I was delighted to be offered a Bank Agreement to continue working with SCAS around my flight schedule. I am now able to do 40 hours a month for SCAS and NHS 111, and complete four flights a month for Virgin Atlantic. Because the flights are all long haul, there is usually a 24-48 hour stopover in country before we are then scheduled to work on a return flight.
It’s a really nice environment at SCAS. I like the people I work with and feel very supported by the 111 team leaders and managers. It’s a very rewarding role, being able to help people over the phone and provide them with some reassurance or advice.
If you had said to me before April 2020 that I would be the person that someone on the phone relied on to get the right health information and advice, then I wouldn’t have believed you. But the training and support has been excellent and I’ve discovered I do have it in me after all.