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Career developmentAug 17, 2023

Physios' careers spotlighted on NHS site as school leavers encouraged to consider joining them

School leavers should consider applying to study in physiotherapy or one of the allied health professions (AHPs) – in part because they could be eligible for a grant worth £5,000 a year.

Speaking on A-level results day in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (17 August), Navina Evans from NHS England said: ‘To everyone receiving their results today, I really hope the outcome is what you were looking for. But if you’re still considering your options, please remember there are many avenues to explore in the NHS.

‘The NHS is an exciting place to work – no two days are the same. I am passionate about the quality of the support and training we offer, meaning that everyone has the space to succeed and thrive.’

And school leavers seeking inspiration by visiting the NHS Health Careers website could find it by reading about physiotherapy as an option. Two physiotherapists tell their stories and offer some career highs (see below).

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Happy days: school leavers could opt for career paths offering 'huge personal satisfaction'


Dr Evans, NHS England’s chief workforce, training and education officer, pointed out that the recently-published NHS Long Term Workforce Plan demonstrated its commitment to delivering ‘high-quality, flexible training and to stable, progressive career development’.

Those opting to study nursing, midwifery or one of the AHP courses could be eligible for support from the NHS Learning Support Fund, which guarantees a grant of £5,000 a year and further payments for those specialising in certain jobs, she said.

‘This means that everyone – regardless of background – can find a career path which promises huge personal satisfaction and the chance to improve the lives of others significantly.'

As A-Level, T-Level and BTEC results were announced, students were encouraged to consider one of the more than 350 roles in the NHS. Places are available until 17 October through UCAS Clearing, presenting opportunities for school leavers rethinking their next steps.


  • the NHS will use a range of social media campaigns, support and advice from existing staff and students to highlight the opportunities
  • school leavers can browse the routes and roles available by searching NHS Health Careers
  • healthcare students finish university as some of the country’s most employable graduates

'It is very satisfying to help patients progress from admission to discharge home after their surgery [physiotherapist Peter Eckersley]Pathways to physiotherapy

Physiotherapist Peter Eckersley and rotational physiotherapist David Williams, from Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, respectively, discuss their backgrounds and roles on the NHS Health Careers website.

Peter, whose interest in physiotherapy was piqued on a work experience placement at his local hospital, says: 'It is very satisfying to help patients progress from admission to discharge home after their surgery.'

David, who also featured in a hugely popular PhysioUpdate Q&A article earlier this year, went into physiotherapy after his military career was curtailed at a relatively early stage. He says: 'A highlight was walking a Covid-19 survivor off the ward to a guard of honour after ten weeks in hospital.'

Author: Ian A McMillan
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