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Job summary

Main area
Testing Laboratory
Band 4
Fixed term: 4 months (End date 31st March 2022)
Full time - 37.5 hours per week (shift rota)
Job ref
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Employer type
Bracknell Healthspace, Brants Bridge
£22,549 - £24,882 plus 5% fringe allowance and unsocial enhancements
Salary period
12/12/2021 23:59

Employer heading

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust logo

COVID-19 Vacancy Bracknell Lighthouse Lab - Associate Practitioner

Band 4

Royal Berkshire Hospital are pleased to announce that following our CQC inspection we have been rated ‘Good’ with inspectors reporting that we have made significant improvements.  The Trust’s overall rating has also improved to ‘good’.  This is a great opportunity to join our clinical or non-clinical teams to create a positive and motivating environment within our trust.  Come and join our team in this exciting time of change as we pride ourselves, our staff and our services on excellence.

At the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust we put our patients at the heart of every element of health and care that we provide. The Trust works together as a community to deliver its vision which is “Working together to provide outstanding care for our community.”

We are Compassionate in our thoughts, words and actions

We are Aspirational and have a true desire to be dynamic and to innovate

We are Resourceful and responsible in the way we work and live

We are Excellent in our development, fairness and sharing best practice

Amazing things happen at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust; delivered by amazing people so why don’t you come and join us.  We offer a range of learning and development for all employees may you be clinical or non-clinical.  


Job overview

The COVID-19 pandemic affects all our communities, now is the time for us to come together to truly make a difference. To increase testing for COVID-19, the Government has significantly expanded its laboratory capacity and staffing. As a result a new COVID-19 Lighthouse Testing Laboratory will be opening in Bracknell. The laboratory will be managed by Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services, which is the first to be run by the NHS. BSPS is a large and established pathology network operating across Royal Berkshire, Royal Surrey, Frimley Health and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts.

We are currently recruiting for Associate Practitioners to help us achieve our target of running tens of thousands of tests every day.

Main duties of the job

The post holder will:

  • Undertake sample reception, preparation, analysis and recording of results in accordance with approved procedures.
  • Liaise with line manager as part of a team delivering a high quality protocol based technical service under the supervision of scientific staff
  • Communicate with a range of colleagues and external suppliers/stakeholders
  • Operate sophisticated, automated laboratory equipment and perform scientific techniques under supervision
  • Appropriately handle body fluids and materials, including high risk specimens
  • Report results in accordance with departmental Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and as appropriate to grade
  • Act as supervisor for support grade staff members as agreed with the laboratory management team


Working for our organisation

Successful candidates need to have previous experience working in a relevant laboratory and have the experience and knowledge of duties required to support senior laboratory staff. Candidates need to hold good education up to A levels including a science subject/ NVQ 4 or IBMS Certificate of Achievement (Part 2) or Foundation degree. It would be beneficial to hold a degree in a biology based subject, although not essential.

It is essential to have the ability to communicate clearly, follow instructions, have accurate record keeping skills and be able to make decisions. Candidates will be expected to train, support and advice less experienced staff, such as trainees, students and Medical Laboratory Assistants therefore previous supervisory experience is required.

The laboratory will be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week; therefore successful candidates need to be able to work on a shift pattern each shift comprising of 12 hours, 8am – 8pm / 8pm – 8am.

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

In return you will be offered:

  • Full time employment, 37.5 hours per week to start ASAP (must be able to work the shift times above)
  • Secure environment of a fixed term contract until 31st March 2022
  • Additional benefits of working with the NHS
  • Be part of something special – this is the first Lighthouse Lab run by the NHS
  • Sense of pride that you are supporting the nation and NHS in the fight against COVID

The host employing organisation will be Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. The laboratory will be based at Bracknell Healthspace, Brants Bridge, Bracknell.

Person specification


Essential criteria
  • A Levels, including science subject or NVQ 4 or IBMS Certificate of Achievement (Part 2) or Foundation degree
Desirable criteria
  • Degree in biology-based subject


Essential criteria
  • Previous experience working in a relevant laboratory
  • Experience of duties required to support senior laboratory staff
  • Experience training and supervising staff


Essential criteria
  • Clear communication
  • Ability to follow instructions


Essential criteria
  • Ability to work on a shift pattern covering a 24/7 rota
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Documents to download

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Further details / informal visits contact

Caroline Blackwood
Job title
HR Project Coordinator
Email address
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