The NHS is the UK’s biggest employer. 1.4 million people in the UK work for the health services in some way, and although many of them will be in clinical jobs such as being a nurse or pharmacist, there are many thousands more working in support roles in management and administration. Working for such a large organisation has its benefits, but certain disadvantages too, so if you are thinking of a career change for 2017, or just fancy doing something a bit different for a career here’s what you need to know about taking a job with Britain’s biggest employer.

What Type of Roles Are There?

There are many different jobs available in the NHS, ranging from a part-time receptionist role in a small, rural doctor’s surgery to a management role in a large NHS trust paying upwards of £100,000 per year. All vacancies are advertised on the website of the relevant NHS Trust, so if you are interested in working for the NHS get into the habit of checking the websites regularly to see if there are any new vacancies. Many jobs will be during office hours, but some ward clerk or receptionist vacancies may require shift working. Qualifications will also vary depending on the role, but for entry level vacancies you will require as a minimum, passes in GCSE or equivalent in English and Maths, and to be IT literate. Qualifications and experience required will always be stated on any job advert. Depending on the role you will also have to undergo DBS checking. Roles which involve direct contact with patients usually require the most detailed checks, whereas admin roles where you may have access to sensitive information but not the patients themselves will still require a check to be carried out, albeit a less in-depth check. All of this will be thoroughly explained to you should you be successful at interview and offered a position.

Advantages of NHS Working

As the NHS is such a large employer, there are lots of roles available and lots of flexibility. Many jobs are part time, and NHS Trusts are often willing to accommodate flexible working requests or job-share if appropriate. The NHS offers a clean career progression programme, with lots of training opportunities and an excellent pension scheme. If your role requires you to work outside of office hours, you will be paid extra to compensate you for this.

Disadvantages of NHS Working

The sheer size of the NHS can be frustrating to people who are more accustomed to working in smaller organisations. It can take a long time to go through the recruitment process, and policies and procedures can take a long time to change too. s a public body, the NHS is also vulnerable to political forces, with changes in government meaning changes to the NHS. Increased demand on NHS services can also mean that staff feel under increasing pressure too. Despite this, there is a huge amount of public support for NHS workers, whatever type of role they are in.