Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is advertising for a clinic assistant to work in the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and podiatry clinics.
“This is an exciting opportunity for a flexible, dynamic and forward thinking Clinic Assistant to support our dedicated team of clinical staff in the Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and Podiatry clinics. Based at the Warneford Hospital the post-holder will work four days each week with ECT nurses and one day per week with the Podiatrist. Both clinics are held in the same department…. Ideally, the candidate will have had experience of working within the mental health field as well as having a love of feet.”
In the United Kingdom, ECT is generally given twice a week. So why is the ECT clinic at Warneford Hospital operating on four days a week? Surely they cannot have so many ECT patients that they have to be staggered? Perhaps patients from the Warneford Hospital are treated on two of those days, with the other two days used for patients from another hospital. I was curious to see how much ECT was used at the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust so turned to the provider level statistics on the Hospital Episode Statistics website, only to find that, according to the statistics, the Trust does not use any ECT. This of course is not the case; they are simply not reporting their ECT. They are not alone in this; many trusts do not report their use of ECT, thus making the national statistics extremely unreliable.
The job of ECT/podiatry clinic assistant pays a bit more than the minimum wage (the starting salary is about one and a third times the minimum wage) and requires no formal qualifications. Yet the responsibilities include: “To ensure that equipment is maintained in a satisfactory condition and to report faults immediately” and “To ensure that equipment is maintained in a safe and presentable manner and to report deficiencies immediately; including liaison with Clinical Engineering as required.”