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Health: Sector Overview

a guide to careers in medicine & nursing, therapies & specialisms, complementary medicine


Sector Overview

What jobs are available and how to get them


Long-term trends shaping the sector include:

  • an ageing population
  • innovations in healthcare provision
  • the rising incidence and prevalence of people with long-term conditions
  • the growing expectations of patients themselves

(Sector Skills Assessment, Skills for Health, 2009/10) - via Prospects Health Overview

Facts & Figures

  • The NHS employs more than 1.7 million people in the UK
  • It is expected that 490,000 more people will be educated to first degree and above in the NHS by 2020

Sector Overview

  • The NHS is by far the biggest employer in this sector, although there will be opportunities in voluntary and private organisations too
  • Government policy has a huge impact on the sector
  • Recent (and potential) changes to the NHS, combined with the financial climate, will continue to have a major effect on the healthcare labour market

Job Roles and Opportunities

Complementary Medicine

  • The NHS is increasing access to complementary/alternative therapies
  • The most commonly used therapies are acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic, homeopathy, massage, osteopathy, clinical hypnotherapy
  • Acupuncture is sometimes used to help with childbirth, whilst clinical hypnotherapy is used with phobias/anxieties and habits. Other treatments are used in the palliative care of cancer patients
  • The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine is the leading centre for complementary medicine in the NHS
  • At the moment it is more common to develop a career in private practice that may include providing services for the NHS

More at Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) from NHS Careers

NHS Management

  • The NHS has a management training scheme for people looking at non-medical or caring roles
  • There a 4 specialisms to choose from, each of which includes a postgraduate qualification
  • You can choose from Finance Management, General Management, HR Management, Health Informatics Management
  • You will need a minimum 2:2 in any subject. Full details of entry requirements
  • Applications generally open in October with a deadline in December
  • Full details on the NHS Leadership Academy pages


Healthcare Careers Options Q&A

Round up of opinions from the Guardian Careers Q&A, April 2012. Covers medicine and midwifery amongst others