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Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for Posts

Where can I find vacancies for NHS Lothian?

All our vacancies are advertised on the NHS Scotland Recruitment website. Select ‘Lothian’ from the drop down list on the left hand pane. If you know what category of post you are looking for you can also select the staff group. Click on the green arrow; this will take you to all of NHS Lothian’s current external posts. Medical vacancies are advertised on NHS Scotland Medical Recruitment.

Can I get a list of all vacancies within NHS Lothian e-mailed or posted to me weekly?

Unfortunately we do not offer this service. New posts appear twice daily on the NHS Scotland recruitment website so it would not be an up-to-date list.

I have convictions; do I need to disclose them?

Information on what should or shouldn’t be disclosed on application forms can be found on the Disclosure Scotland website

There are adverts for the Staff Bank. What is this?      

The Staff Bank supplies supplementary staffing to all areas of NHS Lothian. When you join the Bank you can work single or grouped shifts across NHS Lothian. Availability of work is not guaranteed nor are staff obliged to accept any work offered. Further details on NHS Lothian’s Staff Bank can be found here.

I have been having problems trying to apply online. Who can I contact for help?

If you are experiencing any technical issues or problems with using the site, please email the NHS Scotland Recruitment Helpdesk.
Their Helpdesk is staffed between 9am and 5pm on Monday to Friday. Any issues or problems raised will be recorded by their support centre and those raised outside of those hours will be investigated at the earliest opportunity.

Where do I get log in details when applying online?

The first time you register for an account you will be sent an e-mail with your password. You should use the same e-mail address you first registered with.

Where can I get guidance on completing the NHS application form?

Guidance is provided within the application pack. Guidance is also provided on this page: Applying for Posts.  

Is there a word limit on the on-line statement in support of application section of the application form?

Unless the vacancy states otherwise, the limit is 7,500 characters rather than a word count. This includes commas, full stops, etc. Text exceeding this may be cut off.

I’ve applied for a vacancy. Who can tell me if I am being invited to interview?

It can take up to six weeks to hear if you have been shortlisted.
If you applied on-line you will receive an e-mail if you have been unsuccessful. If you applied by e-mail or post and haven’t heard anything six weeks after the closing date you can contact the recruitment team.
E-mails are sent to all applicants being invited to interview. The e-mail address supplied on the application form is used. If an e-mail address wasn’t supplied we will write out to you.

Can I get a copy of my on-line application as I have forgotten what I wrote on it?

Unfortunately we cannot do this, as the application is downloaded straight on to our system and everything is done electronically. It might be worth keeping a copy of supporting statements you have written for future reference.

Interview Stage

Why is an interview invite e-mailed rather than posted?

E-mailing is quicker and more environmentally friendly. Feedback from candidates is that they prefer this method. If you are waiting to hear about an interview be sure to check your ‘junk’ or ‘spam’ folders too.

If I am invited to interview how many people will be interviewing me?

Details of this will be provided on the interview invite but it will be a minimum of two panel members (three for doctor and dentist recruitment and six for dental registrar posts). This is to ensure objective decision-making and a high quality outcome.

What is the Job Interview Guarantee (JIG) Scheme?

The JIG Scheme is an NHS Scotland scheme. If you have a disability, and highlight it on the application and meet the minimum criteria outlined within the person specification, you will be guaranteed an interview.

Will I receive interview expenses?

Travel expenses incurred for attendance at interview are not normally refunded. You would need to contact the recruiting manager to discuss further.

I have been invited to interview but can’t make the day. Can I re-schedule?

You will need to contact the chair of the interview panel to request a change of date. The panel will need to consider if it is possible for all the original panel members to accommodate the new date. If it is felt the alternative date will have a detrimental impact on the appointment process, the panel is justified in deciding it is not possible to agree to this change.

After the Interview

I was unsuccessful at interview. Can I get feedback?

We will send you a letter, which will include contact details for the chair of the panel. You should phone and arrange a suitable time for detailed feedback.

I was successful at interview but haven’t received any paperwork yet. Who should I contact?

It can take up to two weeks from the date of your verbal offer for a provisional offer of employment to be sent to you, so please be patient. If you haven’t heard anything by then, you should contact the recruitment team.

What starting salary will I be offered?

You will be placed on the bottom point of the advertised salary scale unless you are bringing extensive relevant experience to the role, or were a previous employee of the NHS. The offer letter will detail your salary.
Internal candidates appointed at the same grade will retain their salary and increment date.
Internal candidates starting a new role at a higher grade should start on the new grade minimum (providing this is higher than their current salary).

I have a PVG with another NHS Board or organisation. Do I need to complete another form for NHS Lothian?

If the post requires it, yes, you will need to complete an ‘existing PVG Scheme application’.

I have received a provisional offer letter but haven’t heard anything since then and my provisional start date is soon. What should I do?

Please wait until one week before your provisional start date to contact the recruitment team; they may still be trying to get your pre-employment checks in. You should contact the team between 10am and 3pm using the contact details on your provisional offer letter.

Generic Recruitment

What is the generic recruitment process?

The generic recruitment process is used for most nursing band 2 and band 5 posts. Rather than a service advertising numerous posts, e.g. surgical, medicine of the elderly, mental health, they will be advertised under one vacancy.
The job description will give details on all posts that are being recruited to. If you are interested in more than one vacancy with ‘generic’ stated in the advert reference number, please write this clearly in your statement of support. You only need to submit one application to be considered for posts covered by the generic recruitment process as our principle is one application, one interview and one decision. All interviews are held at Comely Bank Centre (next to the Western General Hospital), Edinburgh.

How long do I have to submit my application form?

As generic adverts attract a large number of applicants it is advisable that you submit your application as soon as possible, as it may be necessary to close the advert when we have approximately 50 applications.

As I am being interviewed for a number of posts how will it be decided which post I am allocated to?

Allocations are based on the candidate’s interview, their experience and suitability for individual posts. 

I only want to work in one specialist area; can I specify where I want to work?

Candidates who are successful at interview and have the required skills will be considered for the speciality of their choice; but this may not necessarily mean the exact ward as this is dependent on posts available.  

I've applied for a post through the generic process. Who should I contact for an update?

If your query is in relation to the application or interview, you should contact the Staff Bank recruitment team on 0131 536 1616, selecting option 2.
If it relates to the issuing of an offer letter, you should contact the relevant recruitment administrator (details will be found on offer letter) between 10am and 3pm; Monday to Friday.


I’m trying to get work experience in the NHS. Where can I go to for help?

There is a section on this website with details of work experience and volunteering. If you need further help please use the contact details within these sections.


NHS Lothian Careers
NHS Lothian Recruitment (General)
Block 3, Stairwell 6
Residency Buildings
St John's Hospital
Livingston EH54 6PP
NHS Lothian Recruitment (Medical and Dental)
Pentland House
47 Robb's Loan
EH14 1TY

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