The quality of the services that the NHS provides relies heavily on attracting and retaining the very best individuals. With a wide range of job roles within the sector, there are a great range of opportunities for ex-Military to transfer into and thrive.
Danielle Fullwood is currently the regional lead for Step Into Health –an armed forces attachment programme that offers ex-Military access to job opportunities within the NHS. She believes that there are many similarities between the Armed Forces and the NHS.
“Both organisations are hierarchical, and essentially have the same ethos in that the public is at the heart of everything they do. Also both organisations are reliant on having huge teams of people that can work together very well.”
Careers in the modern health service go way beyond Doctors and Nurses. In fact of the 350 roles in the NHS, over half of those are non clinical. There are a varied number of roles available across the NHS, in areas that include IT/Communications, Facilities Management and Estates , General Management and Procurement. Danielle advises: “Don’t rule out those job roles that have the word clinical in the title, as they may not necessarily mean that you need to have clinical knowledge to take on the role. “
The NHS faces many challenges and as a result can sometimes can be a stressful environment to work in. As a result, the soft skills of ex-military are very much in demand. Danielle says: “Being able to work under pressure, show leadership and have the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people is key. We spend a lot of time and money training people in those skills, so if you come to the NHS with those skills, then that’s of great value to us. ”
If you do want to apply for a role within the NHS don’t send a CV. “We don’t value CV ‘s that much. On an application form for a NHS job role you would be asked to write a personal statement. This is the space where you sell yourself and explain why your particular skills are appropriate to the job you are applying for. “
It’s clear that once you are employed in the NHS, the opportunity to develop a long and diverse second career is tenable. Danielle said: “Many people who start working in the NHS don’t leave, they spend the majority of their career in the NHS, but they may have had up to 20 different roles within the NHS. I have worked in the NHS for 17 years and have had 10 job roles. People can move quickly from one job to another as you prove yourself. The NHS is all about nurturing the people within it. and giving them a clear career progression.”