“You get the opportunity to work with some amazing people and make such a difference.” NHS leaders in the east of England urge you to consider joining the health service, with over 400 career paths on offer

Whether you are wondering what degree to choose in clearing, or have finished your studies and are looking for your first job out of sixth form or university, you may want to look at the NHS to inspire your future.

Jeff Buggle, Director of Finance in the east of England for NHS England and NHS Improvement, has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years after studying accountancy at university. He said: “When thinking about the next step, whether that be further studies or getting a job, you may want to consider the NHS as a career.

“There are over 400 different roles in the NHS, and whilst we rightly hear lots about our brilliant doctors and nurses, there is a whole range of other incredible careers on offer, where you get the opportunity to work with some amazing people, and make such a difference. I look forward to potentially working alongside you in the future.”

Catherine Morgan, chief nurse for the East of England for NHS England and NHS Improvement, has been in nursing for nearly 30 years, and although keen on science initially hadn’t considered a career in nursing before taking a “leap of faith” after looking at university courses. “It’s been a really fantastic and diverse career for me. I have worked in so many different areas and every day is unique; I took a chance to become a nurse as I thought it would offer me lots of opportunities and I wouldn’t have to work in an office! I was right, and it’s been the most rewarding career ever since – I urge anyone who is worried about their GCSE and A Level results not to worry, as there are so many options in healthcare for you and the NHS is a really great place to work.”


Are you new to the NHS but want to get a job in healthcare?

Thousands of healthcare placements for nursing and other clinical and medical roles are set to be boosted by a £15 million package to bring in 5,000 more healthcare support workers for those considering leaving full time education.

Requiring no formal health background, healthcare support workers assist nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals to carry out health checks, update patient records, help patients wash, dress and move around, and care for women and families in maternity services.

There are also opportunities to progress in clinical and non-clinical roles through apprenticeships and on the job learning and studying, so search on NHS jobs to see vacancies for healthcare support workers and other accessible roles on offer.


Confused about clearing? 

While many A-level students have already chosen nursing or allied health professional careers to start this September, others will be reconsidering options and the NHS is calling on students to consider a nursing or healthcare-related degree, with thousands of places available through clearing.

The call comes alongside record numbers of doctors and nurses working in the NHS with the number increasing by over 16,000 in the last year.

Those who choose to attend university will benefit from financial support during their degrees, with a learning support fund available of between £5,000 and £8,000.

Students will also leave as some of the most employable graduates in the UK, with 94% of those who study nursing securing a job within six months.

Hannah McDaid, 29, is currently a clinical bank support worker and MSc mental health student nurse for East London NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services in Bedfordshire and Luton, and wishes she’d have started her healthcare education sooner. She began her NHS career as a life skills recovery worker on an acute mental health ward – she said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time there but felt I wanted to develop my career further and train to be a nurse. I am now studying for my masters in Mental Health Nursing with placements all over the trust, from Community Mental Health Services to the Psychiatric Liaison Service.

“As well as this, I currently do most of my bank shifts in a mental health therapy suite; working bank shifts fits around my studies and life in general, and it’s extremely flexible. I receive great support in my role as a support worker and nursing student and there is so much scope for career development – I wish I had started sooner!”


Want more information about your career options in the NHS team?

All those considering the NHS for their future career are welcome to search ‘NHS Careers’ to find out more, or visit to apply for a role today.

As the biggest employer in Europe and the fifth largest in the world, there are currently around 1.3 million people working in the NHS in England, including 150,000 doctors, 330,000 nurses and midwives and 70,000 allied health professionals.


Case study – Tabitha

Tabitha, 35, is a senior mental health practitioner also working for East London NHS Foundation Trust, but never had a career path planned out and felt like her GCSE and A level results were average.

“I’ve always been interested in working with people who have vulnerabilities that require additional support. Although I’m not academic, I was always a hard worker and held down weekend jobs from my early teens. I went to University in 2005 and studied Creative and Professional Writing and Drama and Performance and had no idea what to do once I graduated!

“I then worked as a carer for two years in the Midlands, on a zero-hour contract and my favourite shift was working at a psychiatric hospital, and it was then that I found a real interest in mental health.

“Over the years I tried my hand at various roles including homelessness support worker, bail hostel project worker, prison lecturer, drug and alcohol practitioner – I could go on! It reached a stage where as much as I enjoyed the work I was doing, I was reaching a ceiling due to my lack of professional qualifications, so after some advice I applied for a formal qualification in social work.

“As a newly qualified social worker I joined a child protection team and spent a couple of years employed by my Local Authority, and then found a perfect role for me in the NHS as a liaison and diversion practitioner working in police custody for East London NHS Foundation Trust (where I still work now). I had wanted to find a job that combined my social worker skills and interests around mental health, criminal justice, rehabilitation and I was amazed that this kind of role existed; it felt as though it could have been created for me!

“I spent two brilliant years with the team, and was lucky enough to do some shadowing and bank shifts with other local Trust services, including Mental Health Street Triage – this is the team I have now joined and been promoted in as senior practitioner – a fast paced role that requires autonomous decision making and the ability to deal with high risk crisis situations. It has been my first step into management and there has been a lot to learn. I am now just finishing my Approved Mental Health Professional training – a Masters level qualification – which has been my third (and final!) return to university!


“To anyone considering a career in the NHS my advice would be to keep an open mind. If you’re not sure what exactly you want to do with your life, just give something that interests you a try and see where it takes you! 


“In my experience once you start with a Trust there is huge scope for networking and professional development if you are willing to work hard. My journey has been a particularly indirect one, but everything I have done over the years has given me a little bit more knowledge and confidence. Reflecting on it now I am extremely proud of my achievements, particularly during the pandemic.”