Information and communication technology
Information and communication technology (ICT) is the development, management and support of the ICT infrastructure in health organisation, including the personal computers, email systems and mobile communications.
This page has information on the opportunities and roles in information and communication technology.
ICT staff are responsible for all internal and external electronic communication networks, including:
- wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN) that link systems in healthcare organisations, including WiFi
- the hardware eg desktop computers, printers, laptops, tablets and smartphones
- software systems eg email systems, applications and systems, such as patient records
ICT staff are hands-on. They diagnose and fix faults, support staff who use the systems, and develop improvements. Working in ICT will appeal to you if you have a natural flair for computing.
Roles in ICT
Explore some of the roles in ICT:
Working with an NHS hospital trust, service desk operators is the first line of support for users of IT systems. The role includes:
- investigating and helping staff with their computer problems
- resolving faults over the phone
ICT support technicians assist in the implementation and commissioning of new IT and digital systems in an organisation. Tasks are likely to include:
- helping set up computing equipment, for example in a hospital
- installing new computers, carrying out initial tests and loading programmes
- helping maintain computers
Most ICT test analysts are likely to be graduates who support the technical development and smooth running of new computer systems. This might be the development of an electronic patient record system. They will analyse a problem with a computer system, diagnose the problem and solve it.
System developers work on the IT development programmes such as linking GP practices with hospitals by computer. These systems help patients book hospital appointments from their GP surgery. They work closely with health professionals to ensure technical solutions improve ways of working and patient care.
A network manager usually has a degree or equivalent education. They manage an organisation’s IT infrastructure, including servers, email and network security systems. This includes:
- maintaining existing servers
- setting up new servers and systems
Want to learn more?
- Find out more about the entry requirements for ICT staff in health
- Find out more about the training and development opportunities for ICT staff in health
Most ICT jobs in the NHS are covered by the 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 will usually work standard hours of 37.5 per week but some evening or weekend work may be needed depending on the role.
Terms and conditions can vary for non-NHS employers and contractors.
There are also opportunities to progress your career into senior management roles. Most NHS organisations will now have chief information officers who lead the delivery of ICT systems locally, regionally and nationally.
If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services, you'll be asked to show how you think the values of the NHS Constitution apply in your everyday work.
Most NHS organisations advertise their job and apprenticeship vacancies on NHS Jobs. You can find some of the current vacancies below.
Find a vacancy