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Who is who in the NHS
– Roles and Responsibilities
+ Working as a Doctor in the UK
Grzegorz Chodkowski (MD)
Riga, Radisson SAS
Who is Who :Doctors
Different types and grades of Doctors, vary considerably from one NHS Trust to another.
Additionally private hospitals often have a different hierarchy altogether compared to
Join the medical staff, on placement to different departments throughout their training
Hous Officer (HO)
A position held by a doctor who has completed 2 years of the foundation programme
Senior House Officers (SHO)
Receive intensive support and training in the few weeks of their role. This can also
include seminars and weekend induction courses. Additionally they can receive X-ray
courses. Their education is continued throughout their six month attachment, including
lectures, discussions, practical skills etc.. Each SHO has an educational supervisor and
they have formal appraisal at 4 or 5 weeks and again at 4 to 5 months. Some hospitals
request that an SHO completes a cycle of audit, presents a case report and appraises a
They share the middle grade rota and are involved in the supervision of SHOs. They
have an educational supervisor and have sessions for research and training. Where
possible they are encouraged to attend relevant courses and regional Specialist
Registrar’s teaching sessions.
Specialist Registrar (SpR)
Their training is tailored to their individual needs. They have regular training days and
are given the time for research and audits. They have regular management days and
are given the opportunity to shadow one of the Consultants.
Are encouraged to attend relevant courses and have set training sessions at regular
intervals. They also have yearly appraisals.
Doctors and Surgeons
A senior position where the holder is responsible to a named consultant.
Associate Specialists must have at least 10 years' experience since registration
but are not required to have a higher qualification and do not proceed to
The most senior position held by physicians or surgeons with the highest
qualifications, e.g. FRCS, MRCP, and who have completed a programme of
higher specialist training. *Note that Consultants and Specialist Registrars who
are surgeons drop the title Dr and are addressed as Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss.
DIRECTOR OF NURSING SERVICES
The most senior position in nursing administration.
A senior sister accountable for a group of wards.
SENIOR NURSE (RGN trained)
A senior management position.
A senior position for a nurse with experience and either SRN or RGN (three years' training).
A qualified and experienced nurse with overall responsibility for a ward, normally RGN trained.
First post for a SRN/RGN qualified nurse.
REGISTERED MIDWIFE (RM)
Qualified Professional who cares for mother and infant (often also a RGN)
NURSE SPECIALIST (RGN trained)
A nurse with specialist expertise in education and support for particular groups of
patients, e.g. those with kidney transplants, cancer or diabetes.
REGISTERED MENTAL NURSE (RMN)
Nurse who cares for patient with mental health problems, some of whom are
also RGN trained as well.
Tissue Viability Nurse/Clinical Nurse Specialist
RGN, who has had extensive training in conditions of the skin, such as prevention
and treatment of pressure areas to the dressings required for leg ulcers etc..
Colostomy Nurse/Clinical Nurse Specialist
RGN, with extended training in care of colostomies.
NURSING AUXILIARY/NURSING ASSISTANT(NA)
Untrained nursing assistants, who can now take some qualifications, known as
NVQs. Which means National Vocational Qualifications. These focus on practical
Other NHS Staff
Hospital Play Specialist
Lead playful activities and use play as a therapeutic tool.
Learning Disability Nurse
Works with people with learning disabilities, to enable them to become as independent as
Managers a range of services on the ward, including cleaning, catering and linen.
Facilitates interaction and development of insight into patients’ behaviour and emotional
difficulties through music.
Occupational Therapist (OT)
Help people to overcome physical, psychological or social problems arising from illness or
disability, by concentrating on what they are able to achieve, rather than on their
disabilities. They do home visits with the physiotherapist and the patient in question, to
try an adapt their home, to hopefully enable them to live independently again. They can
contact social services who assess the patient and put into place services such as home
helps and care assistants.
Assist qualified Occupational Therapists, installing supportive devices in patients’
homes an in the community.
Take bloods from the patient for analysis in the laboratories. They cover many
general wards and go around each one, starting in the morning. They take routine
bloods, requested by the Doctors. Further phlebotomists operate clinics near to the
laboratories, where they perform bloods requested by Doctors in the out-patients
clinics. Any specific blood tests required for patients from the wards are all
performed in the clinic, if the patient can walk there or be taken in a wheelchair.
Move patients between different departments and wards in safety and comfort,
handling any equipment needed for the patient or attached to the patient. Nurses or
Doctors helping to transport patients from one area to another who are in a bed,
must always use a porter. This is a strict guideline outlined in the health an safety
Look after general stock taking and the collection and delivery of stores to wards,
clinics and departments.
Sterile Services Manager
Are responsible for the sterile supplies needed for patient care and for ensuring that
medical equipment is disinfected. They check and refill ward supplies, for example
dressing packs and catheterisation packs.
Speech & Language Therapist
Work with people who have problems with communication, including speech defects,
chewing or swallowing. They work within their own department and work with
patients on the ward.
Work under the guidance, supervision and instruction of the Ward Manager an other
qualified staff on a hospital ward.
Work with patient’s to promote nutritional wellbeing, prevent food-related problems
and treat disease. They prescribe nutritional supplements for patients and organise
special diets as required.
They are salaried NHS employees, ministering both to patients and to NHS staff. There
is a small chapel in every hospital, where services take place.
Emergency Medical Dispatcher
Deal with urgent calls to the Ambulance service and help to mobilise and control Accident
and Emergency vehicles
The senior members of accident and emergency ambulance crews, trained for two years in
all aspects of pre-hospital emergency care an in emergency driving.
Assist paramedics in accident and emergency work
Ambulance Care Assistance
Transport non-emergency patients to and from hospital.
Experts in drugs and medicine, involved in all aspects of their use, preparation, discovery
and development and the monitoring of effects. Along with the pharmacy technician they
check ward stocks of drugs.
Prepare and deliver drugs, store incoming drugs and make up sterile preparations.
Specialise in the lower limb and foot. For example diabetics receive foot care from
them, having nails cut etc…
Health Record Staff
Collate, organise, retrieve and archive patient or client records.
Use their scientific knowledge in such treatments as supervising the dose of radiation
to treat a cancer tumour or developing techniques such as x-ray and nuclear medicine.
Respiratory Physiology Technician
RPTs perform a wide range of investigations to aid in the diagnosis of any respiratory
disorders, such as asthma an emphysema.
Doctors who work in the medical specialities of Clinical Radiology (diagnostic imaging)
and Clinical Oncology.
Assist qualified Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiographers.
Specialists in cancer treatment, through high doses of radiation.
Provide artificial limb replacements for patients born without them and those who lost
them through trauma or surgery.
* Please note this list is not exhaustive and other roles exist within the NHS, they
can be found on www.nhs.uk
• Career Pathway
• Dress Code
• Communication with Patients
• Personal and legal accountability
• Hair: clean, worn off the face and shoulders
• No jewellery (bracelets, necklaces, charity bands) for:
clinical, catering and domestic staff
Only plain wedding rings allowed.
• No wrist watches when performing clinical duties.
Fob watch is an alternative ehen appropriate.
• Exposing body artwork should be avoided
• Denim clothing and fashion garments with excessive
zip, belts, chains etc is not recommended
• Footwear should fit to the type of duties performed
• Nails must be kept clean and short.
No nail polish or false nail.
• No unconventional hairstyles or colouring and make –up
should be discreet and avoid extremes of fashion
• Personal Protective Equipment e.g gloves, eyewear etc.
All staff must comply with:
1) Health and Safety Policies
2) COSHH legislation
3) Infection Control Policy and Procedures
4) Food Hygiene Legislation
How to Identify Staff
All staff wear identification badges.
If you are not sure who a member of staff is, ask to
see their badge.Your medical care will be managed
by an expert team headed by a Consultant. You
may not always see your Consultant but you can be
sure that you will receive the best possible care at all
times. The team caring for you during your stay may
be made up of nursing staff, medical staff,
physiotherapists, radiographers, dieticians, ward
clerks - the list is endless. You may meet some or all
during your stay, but if you are not sure who
somebody is - ASK .