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The Health and Social Care sector

The Health and Social Care sector consists of any organisation which provides healthcare support to people, for example hospitals, dentists, and specialist support like physiotherapy, and social care support, for example, nursing homes, foster caring, and nurseries. In short, it includes any organisation or service which helps people live more independent, healthier lives.

Did you know?

  • There are over 350 jobs roles in the Health and Social Care sector?
  • The NHS is Europe's biggest employer and the fifth biggest employer in the world. Nearly 1.5 million patients interact with the NHS every 24 hours
  • There are over 100,000 vacancies at any time in the sector

What is it like to work for the Health and Social Care sector?

The answer depends on what job you do and where you work. Watch to the video below to hear from Ellie-May who went on one of our courses and now works as a Medical Lab Assistant.

The Health and Social Care sector contains pretty much any role you can think of, and loads of fun ones that you’ve probably never thought of, like being a Children’s Play Care Assistant! The sector also values flexibilty. When you're in, you can move around between different sectors so you're not locked in to a particular job type. That makes it ideal for anyone who isn't quite sure what they want to do. Of course, if you're aiming for a particular job or career path, you can also achieve that.

Clinical roles
Woman standing in hospital wearing Prince

These provide a front-line service or working in a laboratory; a doctor or a nurse would be a clinical role. There are lots of other clinical roles in the sector and many of them do not require any qualifications (such as GCSEs or A-Levels). ​

Healthcare Assistants: support the nursing team, providing the support which turns a patient’s bad day into a good one. This can be anything from making sure the patient feels supported and comfortable.

This job is ideal for anyone who likes caring for others and can lead to becoming a qualified nurse.​

Medical Laboratory Assistant: In this job, you support Biomedical Scientists with their lab work, particularly sorting blood samples for the haematology department and entering patient data into the computer system. ​

This job is ideal for someone who likes working with facts and solving problems. It can lead to other Science-based careers such as becoming a Biomedical Scientist.

Non-clinical roles
Man standing in front of NHS holding folder of documents

In these, workers do not interact with patients but provide the support and guidance that are needed to run a unit. Any role that you can think would be needed to run an organisation, such as IT Managers, Digital Marketers, and Customer Support. ​

Software Developer: responsible for developing, delivering, and maintaining a range of digital products that are used across Health and Social Care improving patient experience and making patient records more secure and easier to update.​

This job is ideal for those who enjoy coding and problem solving. There are many pathways within digital technology in the sector, and the job opportunities are on the rise!​

Administrative Assistant: often the frontline contact for patients, responsible for booking appointments, keeping patient records, and managing correspondence.​

This job is ideal for someone who enjoys organisation and helping others. It can lead to other Management careers such as those within HR or Finance functions. ​

​What career paths are available from each role?​

All roles in the Health and Care sector are designed so that people can either stay in their role or be promoted through different career paths. For example, a Healthcare Assistant can train to be a qualified nurse within 5 years, and for many careers, the employer can opt to sponsor further education if this is a path you want to follow. ​

As there are so many options available and they are routinely updated, we’ve kept it short and sweet here but check out healthcareers.nhs.uk/ (healthcare), and everydayisdifferent.com (social care) for  for information on finding the right role for you, and the career opportunities.