Do you have a professional background in Healthcare? Did you take a career break to raise a family, or for other reasons? Are you interested in returning to the NHS but are worried that your skills are out of date or that your registration has lapsed? Don’t worry! There are numerous opportunities available for a supported return back to into Healthcare.
Opportunities for Healthcare professionals to return to practice depend on the area of the country you are in, your profession and how long you have been away. You may need to update your registration or undertake a refresher course. Financial assistance may be available, depending on your locality.
How has the NHS changed?
- There is a greater emphasis on teamwork which crosses professional boundaries to provide seamless care. For example, social care and healthcare professionals work side by side in partnership services.
- There is a move towards more flexible working hours, which makes it easier to combine work with other commitments
- There is more support for professional development and learning new skills
What do I do next?
Contact the HR department of your local NHS organisations. You can find local NHS organisation contact details on the NHS Jobs website.
Updating your skills
If you have had a career break, you may need to undertake a period of updating your skills and knowledge before you can return to work in the healthcare sector (including the NHS, private, voluntary and independent sector) and become re-registered on the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) professional register.
The HCPC defines a returnee to practice as an individual who has been out of practice for more than two years. This applies to you if your registration has lapsed, or if you did not go on to register once finishing your qualifications, and therefore have not practised.
The HCPC recommends these minimum requirements to update your skills:
- 0-2 years out of your profession – no requirements
- 2-5 years out of your profession – 30 days of updating your skills and knowledge
- 5 years or over out of your profession – 60 days of updating your skills and knowledge
Register your interest
The first step on your Return to Practice journey is to let Health Education England (HEE) know that you are thinking of returning to practice. They can then keep you up to date with any new courses, funding and support that is available to you.
You can register your interest on the HEE website.
Requirements for your profession
Your professional body will be able to let you know the specific Return to Practice requirements for your profession.
Supporting your study
A number of local universities and NHS trusts are encouraging returnees to work with them to gain the relevant skills and knowledge to meet the re-registration requirements for the HCPC.
HEE can provide funding for out-of-pocket expenses and any relevant courses or appropriate postgraduate study delivered by English universities running pre-registration programmes in healthcare science
Across the UK
If you’d like to return to work in the NHS in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, contact the relevant organisation below.
For Scotland: NHS Education for Scotland
For Northern Ireland: Health, Social Services and Public Safety
For Wales: NHS Wales Careers: Return to Practice
And to read more information about Return to Work Programmes in general, please visit the Runneth Returnship Page or for other opportunities that are currently available, see our UK Returnship List for 2018.