Patient Transport Service (PTS) call handlers have a key role in ensuring patients who are frail or vulnerable and have no other means of transport get to their healthcare appointments safely and on time.There are no set entry requirements to become a PTS call handler but employers expect good standards of literacy, numeracy and IT skills. Some may ask for qualifications such as GCSEs, NVQs or equivalent.Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales and call handlers are likely to be paid at band 2 or 3. PTS call handlers work standard hours of around 37.5 a week but you need to be prepared to work shifts between eight and 12 hours in length. You will be taking calls throughout this time, working on computer systems and using multiple screens. Shifts include evenings, weekends and bank holidays (including Christmas).A PTS call handler needs a range of skills including being able to talk to people at all levels, follow procedures, deal with people who may be angry or upset and good communication and IT skills.You could progress to become a senior call handler or team leader and with further experience you could become a duty manager, responsible for the call centre during a shift. You could look to move within the other call centres (NHS111 or 999) or train to become an emergency medical dispatcher/call handler, dealing with calls to the emergency ambulance service. You could undertake further training to become an emergency care assistant. With more experience and training, you could apply to train as a paramedic.
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