Tom served in the Armed Forces for 38 years after joining at 16 years old as a soldier within the Royal Signals.

Throughout his career in the forces, he had a variety of roles including operations major, quartermaster and officer commanding, his final role being commission officer in the rank of major before joining the NHS.

Tom decided that the NHS was the employer of choice for him because he still wanted to provide a service to the public and saw the NHS as an ideal platform to do this whilst recognising that the organisation has many similarities to the military. Tom is now assistant head of facilities at Nottingham University Hospital.

Those who have Armed Forces experience are well known to have many desirable skills, Tom uses his management skills day-to-day in his role and says he “learnt how to manage people and situations in the military and developed the skill over years of service life. This was reinforced by management and career courses, something I took for granted and never thought about until now”. Tom also said because he was entering the unknown; knowing nothing else as he joined the military from school – he used self-belief, determination, and his willingness to succeed.

Having joined the NHS, Tom highlights the “vast array of courses or areas where you can develop. This is an example of being very similar to the military”.

When asked what his top tips are for members of the Armed Forces community applying for vacancies in the NHS, Tom shared the following key piece of advice – “research and seek advice from ex-military members within the NHS. Also take time completing the application. I have completed numerous interviews since taking up this position and many people fall at the first hurdle, not spending time to complete the application correctly”.

Tom Lappin at work


UpSolution Team