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The NHS is investing heavily in digitisation and health informatics projects are at the forefront of continuously improving patient care.
Training and qualifications required
It is possible to start in an entry-level post without formal qualifications, but GCSEs or equivalent qualifications are an advantage. Apprenticeships in health informatics are also available. More senior project and programme management roles are likely to need a degree or equivalent experience. A project or programme management qualification may also be helpful such as PRINCE2, APM or Managing Successful Programmes (MSP). Many IT projects in health now use the AGILE project management methodology. The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme also has a health informatics strand for graduates with relevant degrees.
Expected working hours and salary range
Most project and programme management jobs in the NHS are covered by Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. This pay system covers all staff except doctors, dentists and the most senior managers. ICT staff in the NHS usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week. Terms and conditions for non-NHS employers and contractors will vary.
Desirable skills and values
Good communication and team working skills are needed for all roles within project and programme management. Many roles will also require good presentation, IT and organisational skills. You’ll need to be enthusiastic, be able to work under pressure and on your own initiative.
There are opportunities to progress your career into senior management roles. Most NHS organisations now have chief information officers who lead the delivery of knowledge management systems locally. Courses in health informatics are also offered by some universities at undergraduate and master's level. The NHS has also developed training and courses to support you through your career.