The largest employer in the United Kingdom, the NHS, or National Health Service, employs 1.4 million people. The NHS comprises four publicly funded healthcare systems in the UK: National Health Service (England), Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland, NHS Scotland and NHS Wales.
Jon Hibbs, the head of news for the NHS, claimed it had the fifth-largest workforce in the world after the Chinese Army, Indian Railways, Walmart and the U.S. Department of Defense. Common jobs include doctor and nurse jobs, ambulance driver jobs, therapist and technical staff jobs, and medical scientist jobs.
NHS Job Education Requirements
Because the NHS employs workers of all stripes, educational requirements vary considerably by position. For physician jobs, job seekers must complete an undergraduate medical education that includes clinical placements. Afterwards, all medical graduates in the UK complete a two-year training in a foundation programme followed by specialty or general practice training.
For nurses, applicants must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which requires a degree in nursing. The NHS no longer accepts nurses with just a diploma. Nursing degrees, called pre-registration nursing degrees, allow students to specialize in four areas: adult, pediatric, learning disability or mental health.
NHS Job Market
The NHS offers a large job market for healthcare careers. Currently, the NHS advertises about 20,000 job vacancies in 350 different careers per month according to its website. About 610,000 of NHS' 1.4 million employees are clinical staff, including 130,000 doctors, 340,000 nurses, 130,000 therapists and technical staff members and 20,000 ambulance drivers.
The NHS also plays a large role in the training of physicians, offering 8,000 placements for student doctors annually. Most of these doctors then complete their foundation programme training in an NHS hospital. In a typical day, the NHS handles 835,000 people visiting their GP or practicing nurse, 50,000 emergency room visits, 49,000 outpatient consultations, 94,000 hospital admissions and 36,000 hospital inpatients. Demand for the NHS' services is expected to grow as the population ages and expands.
NHS Job Salary Information
The NHS pay system -- from which doctors, dentists and senior managers are exempt -- involves a 37.5-hour work week, pay enhancements for overtime, 27 days of holiday per year plus eight public holidays and annual personal development reviews to encourage professional aspirations. Additionally, the NHS Pension Scheme is one of the best in the UK, with every new employee becoming a member automatically. Finally, the NHS remains committed to work-life balance for employees, offering job-share options and childcare assistance.