Patient Transport Service (PTS) controllers organise transport to take patients to and from outpatient clinics, hospital admissions and other non-urgent appointments. They are part of the non-emergency ambulance service control team, and in some ambulance services they may have slightly different job titles.
As a PTS controller, your duties would include:
When deciding on the most appropriate form of transport, you would find out the specific needs of the patient and the level of support required on their journey. You would take into account the patients ability to walk, whether or not they use a wheelchair and if they will need a stretcher.
You would usually work 37.5 hours a week, including weekends, bank holidays and shifts covering times when the non-emergency ambulance service is available (usually between 5am and midnight). Part-time hours may also be available.
You would work at a switchboard in an office.
PTS controllers can earn between around £13,600 to £16,800 a year. With experience this may rise to around £18,500.
Team leaders can earn up to around £34,000.
You will find most jobs within the NHS, although you could also train and work in the armed forces.
Jobs can be advertised in the local and national press and through Jobcentre Plus offices.
Each ambulance service can set its own entry requirements. However, in general you will need keyboard and computer skills and a good standard of secondary education (possibly including GCSE's in English, maths and science). Some employers will also prefer you to have:
The ability to speak a second language may also be helpful.
You will receive in-house training from your employer, which may be classroom-based or on the job. Training can vary between ambulance services, but usually includes:
- Operating a switchboard
- Using radio communications and other equipment
- Keeping accurate records
A patient transport service controller needs:
As an ambulance technician you would respond to accident and emergency calls, as well as a range of planned and unplanned non-emergency cases. You would usually work in a team, providing support to a paramedic during the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients at the scene of an incident and during hospital transfers.
You may use life saving skills as part of your day-to-day work.
With experience, you could progress to emergency medical dispatcher or become a supervisor within the control room, leading a team of controllers or running a fleet of vehicles.
Another option would be to move into a training job.
PO Box 376,
Bristol BS99 3EY
Tel: 0345 60 60 655
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS),
Ambulance Headquarters, Suite 30,
Knockbracken, Healthcare Park,
Saintfield Road, Belfast BT8 8SG
Tel: 028 9040 0999
London Ambulance Service,
Recruitment Centre, St. Andrews House,
Devons Road, Bow,
London E3 3PA
Tel: 020 7887 6638
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.