It may be often thought that the NHS is staffed only by clinical roles such as doctors and nurses - however there are many roles available which means that whatever your experience, qualifications or interests, the NHS has a position that could be suitable for you.
There are more than 350 different roles available in NHS organisations in a wide variety of areas. It offers something for everyone - including those from an Armed Forces background.
Here, the Step Into Health programme, explores some roles which might not immediately come to mind when someone thinks of an NHS career.
There are many opportunities in this staff group, such as operational management, who ensure frontline staff have everything they need to deliver effective patient care.
Read our Step Into Health case study about Steve’s experience of transitioning into an NHS leadership and management development role after a 37-year Army career.
Communications And Finance
Each NHS organisation also has its own communications and finance departments.
The communications team is responsible for helping NHS organisations engage with patients, their local communities, staff and other interested groups including the media, while finance departments ensure that organisations’ budgets are spent effectively and include a wide-range of roles, including accounting and auditing.
IT And Digital
With the ever-changing technological demands on the system, IT and digital services are crucial for the operations of the NHS.
If your interest is in IT, you are good at data analysis and enjoy keeping accurate records, this field may offer a career for you.
These skills align with many characteristics of roles in the Armed Forces and you may already possess the entry requirements for these types of roles.
Estates And Facilities
Many NHS organisations, especially hospitals trusts, can be thought of as little villages requiring maintenance.
The grounds of a hospital require gardeners, while plumbers, carpenters and electricians keep them running, along with the cleaning and catering staff.
Roles such as porters, drivers, security staff and health and safety officers ensure that people and equipment are kept safe within the NHS.
Having experience in dealing with challenging situations, something most members of the Armed Forces possess, is often expected from this staff group and therefore it offers a great route into a new career in the NHS.
Allied Health Professions (AHPs)
Allied Health Professionals make up the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS.
There are 15 different roles available, across a range of sectors, providing system-wide care to assess, treat, diagnose and discharge patients across social care, housing, education, and independent and voluntary sectors.
AHP roles include paramedics, dietitians and physiotherapists. While these are clinical roles which require specialist training and qualifications, there are many apprenticeships available to achieve these.
The Step Into Health team has published a number of case studies from members of the Armed Forces community who retrained to become AHPs.
The Routes In
There are many routes into an NHS career, from completing an apprenticeship and re-training to directly applying. Often the experiences and skills gained through the Armed Forces are transferable. The Health Careers website highlights all the different entry requirements to roles, as well as providing a quiz to match your existing skills to NHS jobs.
NHS Employers’ Step Into Health aims to highlight the many different roles available within the NHS and works with NHS organisations to emphasise the unique skills and experiences members of the Armed Forces community can bring to the NHS.
The programme connects members of the Armed Forces community to NHS organisations pledged to support them. To discuss opportunities available, or to receive guidance on applications, sign up to the Step into Health candidate system.