Haematology (healthcare scientist)

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

If you work in this area of healthcare science, you’ll play a major role in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with disorders of the blood and bone marrow.

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Working life

Working in this area of healthcare science, you’ll play a major role in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with disorders of the blood and bone marrow, for example:

  • sickle cell disease
  • anaemia
  • leukaemia and related blood cancers
  • haemophilia
  • other bleeding and clotting problems

In most organisations you’ll also be involved in blood transfusion science, and be responsible for ascertaining blood group status, and for the provision of appropriate blood and its components.

It is increasingly common for haematology staff to work in a blood science laboratory with staff working with similar technologies for clinical chemistry and immunological investigations. Providing a 24/7 service has been the norm for many years.

Who will I work with?

You will usually work in a team that includes other healthcare science staff and haematologists (doctors).

Want to learn more?

  • Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. 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.

    Staff will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern – especially as blood laboratories operate 24/7.

    Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS.

  • 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.

    Healthcare science staff often work at the forefront of research and innovation, so that patients are continually receiving the very best healthcare. For example, in haematology, healthcare science staff may be involved in researching cures and novel diagnostic techniques for leukaemia and related blood cancers.

  • Job market

    In November 2018, there were 6,123 clinical scientists registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.

    The NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) and Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) attract many more applicants than there are places and so there is considerable competition for places.

    Finding and applying for jobs

    When you’re looking for job vacancies, there are a number of sources you can use, depending on the type of work you’re seeking.

    Check vacancies carefully to be sure you can meet the requirements of the person specification before applying, and to find out what the application process is. You may need to apply online or send a CV for example.

    For the NHS STP and HSST, there is an annual recruitment cycle and applications should be made through the National School of Healthcare Science website, where you can also find information about the programme and the recruitment process.

    Key sources relevant to vacancies in the health sector:

    As well as these sources, you may find suitable vacancies in the health sector by contacting local employers directly, searching in local newspapers and by using the Universal Jobmatch tool.

    Find out more about applications and interviews.

    Volunteering is an excellent way of gaining experience (especially if you don’t have enough for a specific paid job you’re interested in) and also seeing whether you’re suited to a particular type of work. It’s also a great way to boost your confidence and you can give something back to the community!

    Find out more about volunteering and gaining experience.

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