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Becoming a NHS Call Handler

Control Staff

What does it mean to be a Call Handler?

As a NHS Call Handler, you could be either taking emergency calls as a 999 Call Handler or non-emergency calls as a 111 Call Handler.

NHS 999 Call Handler

999 Call Handlers are fully trained to supply lifesaving advice to members of the public in the most critical situations, whilst giving advice to patients that may require treatment options other than an ambulance response. We use a specialist computer system called NHS Pathways to determine the condition of the patient so we can send the most appropriate response, based on their clinical need. The role of a 999 Call Handler is both demanding and challenging but also very rewarding.

NHS 111 Call Handler

As a NHS 111 Call Handler you will be the first point of contact for members of the public with a non-emergency health concern. South East Coast Ambulance Service are calling out for individuals who have excellent communication skills, able to work calmly under pressure and ideally have some experience working in a customer service or healthcare environment.

Watch our video to find out what it's like to answer 999 calls.


What does it take to become a Call Handler?

Here at SECAmb, we look for people to join the service who are caring, compassionate and good at communicating. As a Call Handler, it's important to possess these qualities to provide the best care to our patients.

What qualifications do I need?

GCSE Maths and English (Grade C or above), or equivalent. However, if you do not have these qualifications, we're still likely to accept applicants who have significant experience in the care or customer service sector (ideally holding an NVQ or similar in Care or Customer Service).

What skills do I need?

  • Excellent communication skills and telephone manner
  • Strong customer service skills
  • Strong administration skills
  • Ability to work calmly under pressure
  • A high level of typing proficiency


How do I apply as a NHS Call Handler?

To apply as a NHS Call Handler, you need to browse our available roles our

You'll then be expected to fill out our online application form. Once you've completed your application form, you will hear from our recruitment team within the next four weeks.

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