Housekeepers help make sure that hospital wards and other settings are clean, safe and attractive places for patients and staff.
Training and qualifications required
There are no set entry requirements. Employers expect a good standard of numeracy and literacy and may ask for GCSEs in English and maths. They may also ask for relevant qualifications such in hotel services or health care. When you start work as a housekeeper you will get the training you need to do the job. This includes an introduction to the department and the ward and its systems and procedures. You will also have training in health and safety and manual handling. You may be encouraged to take a qualification in housekeeping.
Expected working hours and salary range
Housekeepers 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 more senior positions such as domestic services team manager or senior housekeeper at band 3. Housekeepers usually work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. They may work shifts, which, in some departments, could involve nights, early starts, evenings and weekends. Terms and conditions will usually be different for housekeepers working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
Housekeepers need to be physically fit for moving, lifting and cleaning, able to work as part of a team, friendly and caring, understanding of patients’ needs, able to take responsibility for their own work, health and safety aware, flexible and adaptable and able to follow instructions and procedures. They also need good organisational skills and good communication skills with staff and patients.
With experience, housekeepers can become team leaders, supervising the work of other domestic services staff. They can progress to become managers, responsible for a department or area. Housekeepers may be able to move into other areas such as facilities management. You could move into a clinical support role, such as healthcare assistant or maternity support worker. Or you could apply to train as a nurse or other healthcare professional.