When asked to think of a career in the NHS, it’s hard not to immediately jump to the traditional, staple careers: doctor, nurse, midwife. These are some of the most recognisable roles in the vast employer, but they’re just the very tip of the iceberg in what is an organisation rich in skills, opportunities and roles.
Ensuring young people have the knowledge and opportunity to interact with this complete range of roles within the health service is essential to ensure our next generation of health and care professionals have the skills they need to maintain the highest standards of care across the service.
In Essex, to support this endeavour, a new Health and Care Academy has been founded. To find out more, National Health Executive spoke with Anthea Hockly, Associate Director of Workforce Development and Learning at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) – one of the partners involved in the programme.
For Anthea, being able to provide a much broader opportunity for these young people to engage with different health professionals has been very important.
“So often, health and social care are presented in quite a narrow way. These young students are on health and care courses so [they now see a range of roles] but prior to that a lot of the publicity you get focuses on the well-known opportunities; medicine or nursing.
“What we wanted to do with the academy was show the wider range of opportunities that in health and care and how those areas are becoming more and more integrated, working together more closely.
“We wanted to show the young people that almost anything they’re interested in, someone somewhere in health or care is involved in that; whether its finance, working estates, HR, project management. There’s just so many opportunities. It’s so far-reaching that almost everything you’re interested in someone in health and care is involved in it.
“All of those people have different ways of getting into a career in health and care, developing at their own pace and developing in a variety of directions as well”
Listen to the full discussion with Anthea on Episode 13 of NHE’s Finger on the Pulse podcast: