Structure of the NHS

The NHS provides healthcare services to more than one million patients every 36 hours, and the vast majority of these services are free at the point of use for UK residents.

Many people think that the NHS is a single organisation with a central recruiting team. However, this is not the case and the NHS is actually made up of multiple organisations, with each individual organisation having its own recruitment team and list of vacancies.

The structure of these NHS organisations varies slightly between the four UK nations, which is explained in more detail on the Health Careers website. In England, the organisations making up the NHS in England include:

  • National bodies that oversee and regulate NHS services
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that plan and commission care for local populations
  • Healthcare provider organisations – this includes GP practices, NHS trusts (including acute, mental health, community and ambulance trusts), charities and social enterprises
  • Organisations that provide support services to the NHS

Many of these individual organisations have committed to supporting the Armed Forces community through the Step into Health programme. You can find all the organisations that have currently pledged their support once you have logged in to our candidate system.

This video from the King’s Fund explains more about the make up of the NHS in England.

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