- What do you need to know about Allied Health and why?
- What healthcare jobs are covered in this section?
- What kind of healthcare system does Britain have? Are there many NHS jobs?
- What is the outlook for those seeking work?
- Will your overseas qualifications be recognised? Is your profession regulated?
- What employment types can you expect to find?
- Who can you expect to work for?
- Where can you expect to work?
- How much can you expect to earn and what are the working conditions like?
- How should you go about finding the right Health job?
- For British Nursing Jobs click here
Britain has one of the largest and most proficient healthcare systems in the world. A healthcare locum or permanent post can be your ticket to seeing the world.
A move to the UK could be one of the most exciting and challenging decisions of your life. This section of the website will tell you everything you need to know to get the most out of your time and help you find the position that you want.
Here you'll find information on which Health jobs are available; what you need to do before you can start working; where you can work and how much you can expect to earn.
You'll also find links to a vast array of healthcare employment opportunities through WORKgateways extensive UK Allied Health jobs database and network of UK Allied Health recruiters.
A wide range of Allied Health + professionals work in the UK and their collective efforts represent a huge contribution to the healthcare system. These professions — some of which are also described as belonging to the category of Health Sciences — include:
- Art Therapy
- Audiology jobs
- Cardiological and Clinical Measurement jobs
- Chiropody / Podiatry
- Operating department practice
- Occupational Therapy
- Prosthetic / Orthotic
- Speech and Language Therapy
The British healthcare system — known as the National Healthcare Service (NHS) — continues to grow into one of the most extensive and progressive public healthcare systems in the world. In terms of size, the NHS is the largest publicly funded healthcare services in the world. A growing private healthcare system also exists in Britain, though this is used by less than 8% of the population.
While the NHS is often referred to as if it is a single entity throughout the whole of the UK, it technically only exists as the NHS within England. NHS Scotland, NHS Wales and Health and Social Care (HSC) Northern Ireland are all managed independently though they are funded centrally. This section of the website will simply refer to the NHS (the public healthcare system of England) as this is by far the largest and most developed of the healthcare systems. Unless otherwise stated, it is safe to assume that the information provided about the NHS is also applicable to the healthcare systems of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
There are a lot of NHS jobs! The NHS is the single greatest employer in the Britain — directly employing more than 1.5 million people. The scope of the services offered by the NHS is huge and there is a continual need for qualified and experienced staff to help with the provision of these services. The NHS delivers all major services (excepting optician and dentistry services) to people at no charge.
Understanding the structure of the NHS can be very helpful when you first arrive. Overall, the NHS is under the political authority of the Department of Health (DH) within the British government. Below the DH, are a number of Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs), which are basically a group of regional divisions which monitor performance and standards throughout. Within each SHA are a number of Trusts.
Trusts are responsible for spending allocated funds on various healthcare services. Different types of Trusts are responsible for funding different health services, for example, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are responsible for commissioning primary care services such as pharmacies. Following this same example, a pharmacist based in Islington in North London will be contracted to work by the Islington PCT.
The outlook for Allied Health professionals is extremely good. The sheer size of the healthcare service, in conjunction with its commitment to the provision of high quality services, means that there is a strong demand for qualified and experienced workers from overseas. In general, Health professionals from overseas are highly considered.
Most Health jobs require you to possess a tertiary-level degree, diploma or certificate issued from an approved educational institution. These requirements vary from profession to profession, so it is important to ensure that you fully investigate this before you start applying.
Overseas qualification will usually be recognised only after they have been verified by an appropriate body. The method for having your qualifications verified varies depending on your profession and on the regulatory / professional body that requires their verification.
For many Health professionals, the Health Professionals Council (HPC) is the regulatory body with which you will have to apply for registration. For detailed information on what this process involves, see our Health Professionals Council page.
You can also find specific information about overseas qualifications for these professions:
- Cardiological and Clinical Measurement
- Occupational Therapy
You should also be prepared to have the following checked before beginning a new job in Britain:
- work permits
- Criminal Records Bureau
- occupational health
The full range of employment options are available to Health professionals, though full-time and part-time positions are most common. The type of employment you take may be affected by the type of visa you hold. If you are on a Working Holiday Visa then finding a permanent role can be quite difficult due to the time-restrictions associated with your visa. Instead, you are much more likely to enjoy a number of contract roles. For example, maternity leave cover positions are often a great source of employment for people on Working Holiday Visas.
The NHS directly employs more than 1.5 million people so it is a fair bet that you too may end up on their payroll. The structure of the NHS is such that your direct employer will be the particular Trust which is responsible for your place of work. For example, as a Physiotherapist in Nottingham your employer would be the Nottingham City Primary Care Trust (PCT).
There are also opportunities to work for private hospitals, clinics and practices as an Health professional, though these are less common than positions within the public sector.
Positions are available country wide. If you desire to live at a specific location, it is usually possible to find the job to suit the location. If you are using a recruitment agency, make sure you are clear about your location preferences from the start.
If you are more concerned about finding the right job rather than the right location, then there are certain regions which are more likely to be fruitful. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you are more likely to find your desired Allied Health job in one of the capital cities (Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast respectively). However, there are generally more Health positions in England than in any of the other constituent countries of the United Kingdom.
Within England, positions are most commonly found in the large and economically dominant regions of the North West, South East and Greater London. As with all jobs in the UK, it is in London that you will find the greatest number of opportunities.
How much can you expect to earn and what are the working conditions like for Allied Health professionals?
Health professionals working in the public sector are well paid and wage rates are similar to those which are on offer in the private sector.
The NHS has a structured pay system which dictates the amount you will earn. Salaries are awarded on a points system, of which there are 9 bands representing levels of qualification, responsibility and expertise (band 9 being the highest pay bracket). Within each pay band, there are a series of pay points - staff generally go up one pay point per annum until they reach the top of their band.
The NHS Job Evaluation Scheme is used to determine which band each employee belongs to. As an experienced and qualified overseas Health professional it is likely that you will meet the criteria for bands 5, 6 or 7. The pay rates for each band are outlined in this table:
|Band 1||£ 12 182 – £ 13 253 per annum|
|Band 2||£ 12 577 – £ 15 523 per annum|
|Band 3||£ 14 437 – £ 17 257 per annum|
|Band 4||£ 16 853 – £ 20 261 per annum|
|Band 5||£ 19 683 – £ 25 424 per annum|
|Band 6||£ 23 458 – £ 31 779 per annum|
|Band 7||£ 28 313 – £ 37 326 per annum|
|Band 8*||£ 36 112 – £ 75 114 per annum|
|Band 9||£ 71 646 – £ 90 60 per annum|
*Band 8 contains 4 sub-bands
The salaries listed in the above table are also subject to a high cost area supplement, which is an increase of 20% in Inner London, 15% in Outer London and 5% in fringe areas.
For specific salary information, check the individual pages for these professions:
- Cardiological and Clinical Measurement
- Occupational Therapy
- Radiography jobs
The working conditions for Health professionals are also quite attractive. Standard conditions include:
- a standard 37.5 hour working week
- penalty rates for overtime
- 27 days holiday leave per annum
- a structured pathway for career development
Whether you are applying for a specific Health post or simply looking for anything which matches your skills and experience, your first point of contact will probably be an Allied Health recruiter. Recruitment agencies are heavily involved in the British job market - it is their business to find quality candidates for employers while simultaneously helping candidates to develop and progress their careers.
WORKgateways manages a network of the best Health recruiters to help you reach your potential.
Register with recruitment agencies up to 2 years before your arrival. Your recruitment consultant will then begin the process of finding you a suitable position, giving you a great head start to your working life in Britain. If your travel plans or arrival date changes, make sure you inform your recruitment consultant immediately.
Learn how to get the most out of your British job search in our FAQs.