How to create a pathway for volunteers to NHS careers

Tags: How to Guide

16th March 2021



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What is a pathway for volunteers to NHS careers?

A pathway for volunteers to NHS careers is a streamlined process that provides volunteers with the right support to seek employment within the NHS.

Why do we need one?

According to the King’s Fund report “The healthcare workforce in England” (2018), it was estimated that there was a shortage of more than 100,000 staff. By 2030, this figure could increase up to 230,000 and if “the emerging trend of staff leaving the workforce early continues and the pipeline of newly trained staff and international recruits does not rise sufficiently, this number could be more than 350,000 by 2030.” (The King’s Fund, 2018).

Within this context, the NHS produced an Interim People Plan last year to address the challenges and outline solutions for this shortage. In the document, it recognised the contribution of volunteers to the health and care system and aimed to “make volunteering a more attractive option for individuals wanting to contribute to local healthcare services and potentially gain permanent employment in the NHS, helping them develop some of the skills, confidence and experience they need.” (NHS’s Interim People Plan, p.51, 2019).

By building a pathway for volunteers to NHS careers, you will help to address the staff shortages and provide the NHS with a talented, caring, and compassionate workforce, who have a good understanding of the system and what they could do to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of the community.

This guide includes:

  • Steps to help you develop a programme for volunteers who would like to develop their careers within the NHS
  • Case study
  • A video