How does one become an emergency services/medical dispatcher in London?
October 17, 2013 11:08 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a new career direction and am curious about UK emergency services/NHS dispatcher jobs. I have found a little bit of information about these sorts of jobs online, but never seen them advertised. Have you ever done this sort of job? Can you point me towards any information? I am particularly looking for information about pathways into this sort of career, and what the work itself is like. (I already know about the sadly defunct Nee Naw blog.) I am based in central London. Thanks!
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Best answer: One of my friends works as a police dispatcher. I believe the centre he works in is based near Waterloo, but there might well be others. He works shifts and often doesn't know when he'll be scheduled to work until quite short notice, which can be a bit hard on his social life. I think he finds it about as frustrating and satisfying as any job - there can be periods of doing nothing but sending out police to deal with drunk people being idiots, or there can be huge spikes in domestic violence calls (particularly around football matches, apparently).

I know him from volunteering on a mental health helpline together, and I imagine that was a helpful skill in getting him the job because we had spent a lot of time supporting people in difficult situations already. I think he probably just saw the job advertised but that would have been back in 2007, so pre-recession and massive public service cuts hence more low-level public sector jobs being advertised in general).
posted by theseldomseenkid at 1:14 AM on October 18, 2013

Best answer: but never seen them advertised

London Ambulance Service is recruiting Trainee Emergency Medical Dispatchers at the moment. NHS Jobs is the place to look for vacancies.

Two allied jobs to consider: call handler for NHS 111 (in London, these jobs are either via Harmoni or via LCW UCC) or call handler for GP out-of-hours messaging service (Harmoni for most of London). Both these roles are performed by non-clinicians who answer calls and perform initial triage using algorithms.
posted by boudicca at 9:03 AM on October 18, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you both for your very helpful replies!
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 6:45 AM on November 13, 2013

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