The NHS at 70: Employment in the care sector

Share this page

Written by Fay Gibbin on 13 July 2018

On July 5 the NHS turned 70 years old. We find ourselves today in a completely different world compared with 1948, when the NHS was first created. The nation’s most loved institution faces fresh challenges in the twenty-first century due to issues such as Brexit, a skill drain, and an ageing population. 

Challenges in the care sector

The NHS is treating more patients than ever before. Yet worryingly for the first time, more nurses are leaving the NHS than joining it (NHS Digital). Furthermore, The Royal College of Nursing estimates that there are 40,000 vacant nursing positions in England, and NHS Improvement said there were nearly 100,000 vacancies in NHS trusts in England last year.

With such a large gap to fill, the onus on training and bringing through the next generation of NHS doctors, nurses and staff is more prominent than ever. With these staff shortages, the work of other support staff, such as assistant practitioners, senior health workers, and ward staff, becomes even more critical and continues to be stretched. 

It is not just more doctors and nurses the NHS needs but more well-trained staff to support throughout its structure.

Healthcare support workers do vital work in wards, operating theatres and communities to assist with NHS services ranging from patient transport services to occupational therapy. It means that it is not just more doctors and nurses the NHS needs but more well-trained staff to support throughout its structure.

Why training matters

As previously mentioned, retaining staff in the care sector has not been easy in recent years, and therefore providing quality training with support for career progression is absolutely necessary.

In recruitment, too, employers look for top-class clinical care staff with an excellent understanding of quality practice, plenty of sector experience, and the right values and personal qualities to provide care and support to those in need. Armed with specialist training delivered by experienced healthcare professionals and on-the-job training, learners can excel in clinical care. 

A wealth of confident, well-trained healthcare support workers also helps boost the workforce of the NHS and the wider clinical care sector. If the exodus of NHS staff continues, healthcare support workers will be expected to take on more and more responsibilities in order to keep NHS services running and to make sure all patients receive the best care.


This is why the care sector needs experienced support staff, trained by experts in clinical care, to take on these responsibilities that are being having to be taken on by stretched staff.


Experienced, well-trained healthcare support workers are in the best position to make the right choices for the people in their care, which allows families to feel comforted by the knowledge that their loved one is in good hands and cared for by someone who is responsible, reliable and committed.

Employers in the care sector, too, can be assured that they work with professionals with an outstanding background.

With the right training programme, delivered by outstanding sector experts, the NHS will inherit a new generation of well-trained, motivated healthcare support workers with the ability to progress to management positions and nursing roles, helping to plug the gap left by outgoing NHS staff and underfunded services, providing the level of care for those who need it most.


About the author

Fay Gibbin is CEO of BB Training Academy



Related Articles