Jobs in the NHS and social care

It’s great that you’re interested in working in health or social care in south east London! This introduction gives you a summary of what health and social care roles involve, to help you identify areas you're interested in.

What's covered?

We will provide you with the key information you need to prepare for applying for jobs in health and social care in south east London.

You can either scroll through the entire page or jump to particular sections.

Healthcare in south east London

Find out more about the organisations providing healthcare in south east London and what working with them could involve.

Getting started in healthcare

Once you have a good understanding of who's providing healthcare in south east London, check out our ideas for getting started.

Social care in south east London

Find out more about the organisations providing social care in south east London and what working with them could involve.

Getting started in social care

Once you have a good understanding of who's providing social care in south east London, check out our guide to getting started.

Healthcare in south east London

There are lots of organisations providing healthcare in south east London. Many of these are part of the National Health Service (NHS), and some are part of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

NHS acute hospital trusts

These often include services such as accident and emergency (A&E) departments, surgery and care for serious illnesses.

NHS primary care providers

These often include GP practices.

NHS mental health providers

These provide services such as counselling, psychological therapies, and wellbeing and social support.

Pharmacies

These provide services such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, health advice and vaccinations.

Hospices

These provide care and support for people with life-limiting illnesses.

Community organisations

These provide support in different ways, for instance providing practical and emotional support for carers.

Each of these organisations has lots of opportunities in two kinds of roles

Roles where you would be working directly with members of the public, providing care or support.

For example:

  • nurse
  • paramedic
  • physiotherapist.
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Roles in healthcare that don't involve much direct work with members of the public.

For example:

  • administrators
  • researchers
  • communications specialists.

Getting started in NHS healthcare

Whatever healthcare role you’re applying for, a helpful starting point is deciding how you might gain useful qualifications, knowledge and experience.

Opportunities will vary depending on what role you’re going for, but there are plenty of options to explore – from work placements and volunteering, to paid courses and training schemes.
01

Find the right role

Before applying for a role, it’s a good idea to start by getting a sense of what roles would match your skills and interests.

To find out about the kinds of roles you could do, try the NHS health careers quiz. Answer some questions and get recommendations for the kinds of jobs that might appeal to you.

02

Develop skills and understand values

To find out more about the wide range of roles currently available, see the NHS jobs website.

When looking at a role, you may want to pay attention to:

  • the key responsibilities involved
  • the qualifications required
  • any practical experience required.

03

Gain experience

Once you have an idea of what a role involves, try and gain some experience to get a realistic sense of what it’s like.

You could look for opportunities such as:

  • volunteering
  • internships
  • shadowing – spending a short amount of time with someone in their role to see what their job involves.

Ready to apply? Check out our information on applying for roles.

Social care in south east London

Social care provides people with the personal care and practical support they need to live their lives independently and with dignity. 

There are three main types of organisations providing social care in south east London:

Local authorities

Each of the six boroughs in south east London has its own local authority, and these are responsible for providing social care services to residents. 

Private care providers

There are a number of private companies providing services such as home care and residential care (in care homes).

Charities

Some charities offer social care services to support people with specific needs (such as those with a learning disability).

Getting started in social care

Whatever social care role you’re applying for, a helpful starting point is deciding how you might gain useful qualifications, knowledge and experience. Opportunities will vary depending on what role you’re going for, but there are plenty of options to explore, from work placements and volunteering to paid courses and training schemes.
01

Understand the roles

Before applying for a role, it’s a good idea to start by getting a sense of what roles would match your skills and interests.

Try the A Question of Care quiz to learn more about what a career in care is like, and whether it matches your skills and values.

Read the Skills for Care guide to careers in social care for more information.

02

Search for jobs

To find out more about the wide range of roles currently available, take a look at the Skills for Care jobs website.

When looking at a role, you may want to pay attention to:

  • the key responsibilities involved
  • the qualifications required
  • any practical experience you'd need.

03

Gain experience and apply

Once you have an idea of what a role involves, try and gain some experience to get a realistic sense of what it’s like.

You could look for volunteering or work experience opportunities in a care setting, or ‘shadowing’ someone in their care role.

Alternatively, you could join a local group supporting people in care services, or offer to help a friend or family member who needs support with everyday tasks.

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