Domestic services staff are the lifeblood of the NHS, keeping hospitals, health centres, offices and other areas clean and hygienic.
Training and qualifications requiredNo set entry requirements for domestic services assistants. Employers expect a good standard of numeracy and literacy and may also ask for relevant qualifications in hotel services or health care and relevant experience. Domestic services supervisors have usually worked as cleaners or domestic assistants. Employers usually ask for relevant qualifications in cleaning and/or team leadership. Domestic services managers may enter the NHS with a relevant qualification and/or experience or work their way up from more junior positions. As a domestic assistant, you will be given the training you need and be encouraged to work towards a qualification in cleaning or particular topics such as dealing with hazardous waste. Domestic services supervisors and managers may be expected to take qualifications in management.
Expected working hours and salary rangeDomestic services staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. You would typically start on AfC band 2. With further training and experience, you could apply for housekeeper or team leader positions at band 2 and domestic services team manager at band 3. Domestic services staff usually work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. They may work shifts, which could involve nights, early starts, evenings and weekends. Terms and conditions will usually be different for domestic services staff working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and valuesDomestic services assistants need to be physically fit, follow instructions and procedures, pay attention to detail, work as part of a team, take responsibility for their own work and be able to work unsupervised. They also need organisational and teamwork skills.
ProspectsWith experience, a domestic services assistant could become a team leader, supervising a team of assistants. With further experience, they could progress to become a manager, responsible for a department or area. Domestic services staff could move into other areas such as facilities management or housekeeping. There are also opportunities outside the NHS.
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