How To Find Care Jobs In The NHS
More than ever, it seems, people need well paid, secure employment, so I’ve written a series of articles to help those interested in working in health care. The first three articles focus on health care workers outside the NHS (clicking here will lead you into those articles), but the picture wouldn’t be complete without looking at the biggest employer in the UK.
The NHS frequently takes a battering in the press, but only bad news is good news, you’re hardly likely to read the headline “little old lady gets successful new hip…” It’s true that the NHS does a very difficult job under increasingly difficult circumstances, but there are many benefits to finding care jobs in the NHS.
Nature of the Work
Working as a carer (usually called nursing auxiliaries) in the NHS is probably the most varied type of health care work there is, as there are so many specialties to choose from, such as working on a ward, working in a specialised unit such as cancer care, or renal dialysis, or intensive care, to working out in the community setting alongside District Nurses (Community Nurses), or working in the field of mental health.
Advantages of Working in The NHS
Pay – The NHS has a defined pay structure based on ‘Bands.’ The starting band for a nursing auxiliary is band two, which begins at £13,233 per annum, based on a 37.5-hour week. This works out to roughly £6.78 per hour, rising to around £8.86 for night duty and Saturdays, and £11.25 for Sundays and bank holidays.
Once you have some qualifications you can apply for a band three job, the top salary for which is £18,157 per annum, or even a bad four job, which brings in £21,318 at the top point (all rates based on the 2009/2010 pay scale)
Each year, providing you have worked well, your salary jumps up one point on the band.
Career progression – There is excellent career progress for nursing auxiliaries, via NVQ qualifications, allowing progression to a band four post such as Assistant Ward Practitioner.
Initially, band two auxiliaries will practise basic nursing care, but as they learn and develop, the role extends so that they can do some similar duties to Registered Nurses, such as blood taking, cannulation, complex dressings and many other procedures.
Holidays – There are few jobs that allow as much holiday time as the NHS. Including bank holiday allowances, employees have round eight weeks’ holiday a year.
Sickness – The NHS also pays above the state allowance for sick time, which is reassuring should you become unwell and unable to work for a time.
Pension – Although there have been changes to the pension scheme over the last few years; the NHS scheme remains one of the best in the UK.
How To Find Care Jobs in The NHS
Search NHS Jobs http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/ this is the official site for NHS jobs in the UK.
If there are no suitable jobs on the site when you search, most hospitals have a ‘nurse bank’ system, a pool of locum nurses who will fill shifts when there are gaps in the rota. Look on you local hospital’s website, which should give this information. This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door, as managers are much more likely to employ someone from the bank than from directly outside the NHS.
Search your local hospital’s website, as they usually have a ‘working for us’ section somewhere.
If you want work with good pay, benefits and really good career progression with a lot of variety, then care jobs in the NHS could be just right for you.