The National Health Service (NHS) is without a doubt one of the best and most complex healthcare systems in the world.
Founded in the 1940s, the one-of-a-kind system has been designed to provide care at the point of need with no charges billed to the patient. This makes healthcare accessible to all, regardless of income or social background.
For many healthcare professionals, the goal is to see that care is given to those who need it when they need it. That’s why working in the NHS can be particularly rewarding, although not without its challenges.
Why Work for the NHS?
We believe there are many great reasons to work for the NHS. Here are a few:
1. Patients First
Every care provider wants to make a difference. The NHS has done a great job at ensuring that whether a patient needs a family doctor or a specialized doctor (excluding dental and optical), they receive care at no upfront cost at all. This puts the patient at the forefront of care, giving them access to vital services when they need it.
2. An Opportunity to Sharpen Your Skills
With a million people visiting NHS affiliated institutions every 36 hours, you will be handling a variety of cases every day. One of the good things about free health care systems is that patients are not afraid of the cost of seeing a doctor when feeling unwell. Illnesses are caught early and follow up is easy since the patient doesn’t have to worry about high hospital bills. On the flipside, every minor illness is still brought to your attention, so your day will be pretty full!
3. Good Benefits
Through the Agenda for Change, the NHS ensures that your salary matches your abilities. They also offer generous benefits packages, especially for Locums, including holidays and sick pay, as well as a host of training opportunities.
4. Greater Gender Equality
The NHS is committed to improving gender balance, and to that effect, it is one of the biggest employers of women in the world! Over a million women already work in the NHS, with more women taking up consultant roles than ever before. There are more career opportunities, now more than ever, with the target being to achieve gender equality by capturing the best talent, even from outside the UK, and retaining those already in the system.
Challenges of Working in the NHS
Despite the above benefits and more, there are a few pitfalls of working for the NHS, including:
- Lack of funding
- Long waiting times for patients
- Limited resources to help patients
- Long hours
- Sometimes costly mistakes
These challenges are consistent with those of any public healthcare system, and the NHS is continually working to improve patient care and working conditions for its staff. Nonetheless, working for the NHS provides a real reward and an excellent anecdote for your resume as you serve those in need of care amidst like-minded professionals. Find out more about the main challenges you might find when working in the NHS here.
If you would like to start a rewarding Locum career within the NHS, we can help.