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Haematology (healthcare scientist)

Haematology (including haemostasis and thrombosis) is the study of the blood and blood-forming tissues.

Training and qualifications required

There are three entry points into haematology (1) with at least two if not three A-levels including science subjects (or equivalent level-3 qualifications) and a good spread of GCSEs at A-C grade, to take an accredited BSc degree in healthcare science (blood sciences) for the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP); (2) through the NHS Scientist Training Programme for which you’ll need a 1st or 2.1 either in an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree in a relevant pure or applied science. If you have a relevant 2.2 honours degree, you’ll also be considered if you have a higher degree in a subject relevant to the specialism for which you are applying. Evidence of research experience is desirable; or (3) after gaining postgraduate qualifications and/or considerable relevant experience as a clinical scientist through Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST).

Expected working hours and salary range

NHS staff will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern, especially as blood laboratories operate 24/7. Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. Your salary in haematology would typically be between AfC Bands 5 and 9, depending on your role and level of responsibility. As a healthcare science practitioner, you’d usually start on band 5, with opportunities to progress to more senior positions. Trainee clinical scientists train at band 6 level, and qualified clinical scientists are generally appointed at band 7. With experience and further qualifications, including Higher Specialist Scientist Training, you could apply for posts up to band 9. Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS.

Desirable skills and values

An interest in science and technology, good communication skills, comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment, attention to detail and able to work as part of a team.

Prospects

With further training or experience or both, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for vacancies in areas such as further specialisation, management, research, or teaching.
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