The NHS is one of the largest recruiters in the UK and has roles that suit a huge range of people with different skills and strengths.

At the sharp end, we tend to think of doctors, surgeons, nurses, radiologists, physiotherapists and so on, as being what the NHS is all about. Whilst it’s true that these are the people whose skills and opinions we value the most, it’d be a pretty poor outfit without the thousands of ancillary workers that buzz around making sure that diaries are workable, rooms are clear (and clean) and that the specific needs of patients are otherwise met.

To become a specialist such as a radiologist, and the like, takes a special kind of person. They are the people that are able to stand up to the demands of lengthy college and university courses and plenty of hands-on, intense work experience, literally experiencing the frontline of health service. It’s not all about bandaging the little girl’s knee; it can be about dealing with the Friday-night reveller that’s drank two bottles of vodka, is covered in puke and piss and still needs a stomach pump to clear the rest from their system. Sometimes it just ain’t pretty.

Assuming you have the application and skill to get through the training and initial period on the job, there is no question that medical roles in the NHS can provide a fascinating and highly rewarding career. Naturally, disabled people are invited (along with everyone else) to apply, since frankly, the man with the cut to his hand won’t care that you’re hard of hearing, so long as you can stitch him up properly, just as it doesn’t matter that a respiratory consultant uses a lower limb prosthetic. In fact, where better for a disabled person to be than a hospital or doctors surgery?

Access and facilities

Anybody with a physical disability will immediately recall their last trip to a hospital environment where the wide level floors and doorways made access easy and lifts took them to any of the floors from the basement pharmacy right up to their treatment ward on the top floor. Add into that the facilities ranging from simple hand rails through to high dependency toilets and things start to look rosy.

It’s the same for people with sensory impairments too. Automatic doors, Braille signage, blind trails and induction loops mean that the disabilities that can sometimes leave them frustrated are simply solved.

The reason, of course, is that hospitals, in particular need to be absolutely universal in their ability to cope with any patient at any time. Lots of patients won’t be able to get around under their own steam and will arrive and be transported to different services within the hospital on lumbering trolley beds, meaning that access has to be easy and swift.

Embracing diversity

Anyway, the diversity of roles in the NHS is astonishing and as mentioned, not all of them will require post-school education or a pocketful of qualifications. Roles include the physical, such as porters to push trolleys and cleaners to continue the war waged against hospital infection, through to those concentrating on record filing, setting appointments, sorting internal and external correspondence out in the mailroom and handling the complex IT systems that are ever more valuable in the medical sector.

All of the roles have to work together to make sure that every patient is properly satisfied in terms of getting them back to health as quickly as possible. In short, this means that people need to work together and that means that there is no such thing as an unimportant role in the NHS. The people that work for the NHS then, are the glue that holds the whole show together.

Again, this is important at the so called ‘top end’ where we expect a good bedside manner from a consultant or a surgeon but it’s also important in all other roles too. Working in the NHS means working with people. That means using simple things like a smile to show people that they don’t need to be afraid or to give them courage when they’re about to receive bad news. It means making a moment time to listen amidst the rush of thousands of people coming through the doors week-in, week-out. It even means being patient with those who are not listening to you because they’ve just seen their children in pain or have been bereaved – and everything else in between.

It takes patience, sympathy, kindness and strength in different ways to be a part of the NHS.



NHS Careers


What It Pays

You’ll probably want to at least know a little bit about what the job pays. You will note that for at least some of the roles there is quite a range of remuneration; this indicates the full professional progression from newly qualified through to what might be achieved by someone with experience. The following figures and notes are from salary comparison website:



Porters earn around £6.54 per hour. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 10 years’ experience in this career.

Total pay: £11,378 – £19,384


IT Manager

An Information Technology (IT) manager earns an average salary of £37,921 per year. Pay goes up steadily with experience. A skill in project management is associated with high pay for this job.

Total pay: £24,572 – £63,631


Medical Receptionist

A medical receptionist earns an average wage of £7.21 per hour. Pay for this job does not change much with experience, with the most experienced not earning substantially more than the least experienced.

Total pay: £11,008 – £18,210


Medical Secretary

The average wage for a medical secretary is £8.59 per hour. Pay for this job does not change much with experience. A skill in Transcription is associated with high pay for this job.

Total pay: £14,024 – £24,679




The average salary for a radiologist is £73,949 per year. Most radiologists move on to other positions after 10 years in this field.

Total pay: £30,054 – £178,725



A General Practitioner (doctor) earns an average salary of £63,952 per year.

Total pay: £29,384 – £113,141



A physiotherapist earns an average salary of £25,599 per year. People in this job generally don’t have more than 20 years’ experience. Experience can determine a much higher wage.

Total pay: £19,559 – £48,892


General Surgeon

A General Surgeon earns an average salary of £60,841 per year.

Total pay: £29,147 – £162,196