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Stores and distribution staff make sure that a range of essential supplies are delivered to the right wards, clinics and health centres.
Training and qualifications required
There are no set entry requirements for stores and distribution assistants. Employers expect a good level of literacy, numeracy and IT. They may ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths along with an IT qualification such as ECDL. Employers may ask for experience eg from retail or warehousing work. There may be opportunities to gain relevant experience through an apprenticeship. You can enter the NHS as a stores and distribution manager with relevant qualifications and experience. Employers usually ask for a degree level qualification. When you join the NHS in stores and distribution, you will get the training you need but whatever level you are working at, you will be encouraged to take further qualifications.
Expected working hours and salary range
Staff working in stores and distribution 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 posts at bands 3 and above. Stores and distribution staff in the NHS work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. Some may work shifts which can include early starts, evenings, nights and weekends. Terms and conditions will usually be different for stores and distribution staff working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
Stores and distribution staff need to be physically fit for lifting, carrying and pushing trolleys, part of a team but responsible for their own work and methodical and accurate. You'll also need good communication, organisational, customer service and (often) driving skills.
With experience, stores and distribution assistants can become team leaders, supervising a team of staff. With further experience and qualifications, you could become a manager, responsible for a department or area. There are opportunities outside the NHS.