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Housekeepers help make sure that hospital wards and other units are clean, safe and attractive places for patient care.

This page has information on the role of a housekeeper in the NHS, including entry requirements and skills needed.

Working life
As a housekeeper, you will coordinate non-clinical ward services such as catering, cleaning, equipment and supplies. The work can include:
• talking to and reassuring patients
• ordering non-clinical supplies
• keeping the ward clean and tidy
• serving and clearing away meals
• preparing snacks and drinks
• reporting faults
• clerical and admin tasks
• ordering patient transport
• receiving visitors

With additional training, you may work with patients, taking on some of the duties of a healthcare assistant such as feeding patients, taking and recording blood pressure, temperature.

Where will I work?
You may work in any part of a hospital or trust including:
You will coordinate non-clinical ward services such as catering, cleaning, equipment and supplies.
• accident and emergency
• paediatrics or maternity
• medical or surgical wards
• specialised units such as those for people with learning disabilities or mental health needs

Who will I work with?
Housekeepers are part of the ward team. You will work under the direction of the senior nurse or ward manager. You'll work closely with domestic services, catering and linen services staff as well as nursing staff and clinical support staff.

Entry requirements
There are no set entry requirements. Employers expect a good standard of numeracy and literacy. They may ask for GCSEs in English and maths. Employers may also ask for relevant qualifications such as an NVQ in hotel services or health care.

Employers may ask for some experience of hotel work or healthcare which could be from paid or voluntary work.

Skills needed
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
• able to follow instructions and procedures

You'll also need
• good organisational skills
• good communication skills with staff and patients

Training and development
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.