All corporate services staff are specialists who use their professional skills to provide services across the NHS.
Corporate services support both clinical and non-clinical areas. Some corporate services are mainly for patients, such as hospital play or health promotion staff; others, such as human resources, support other NHS staff. Some, including surveyors and architects, have a lot of contact with organisations outside the NHS.
Like most organisations, the NHS needs business services to make it run smoothly. The NHS has to make sure that finances are properly budgeted and spent wisely and that clinical and non-clinical staff are recruited fairly and properly trained. You could work in:
Technical and buildings
Professionals in the corporate services team look after the technical aspects of the NHS. Buildings have to be managed professionally so the NHS can be a good landlord or tenant. New building projects need professional advice to meet the needs of a modern, expanding healthcare service. Roles include:
Patients and their visitors need services besides the treatment that goes on in hospitals and health centres. They may need the comfort of some spiritual help or the stimulation of involvement in the arts. Staff, too, need support to do their jobs. They may need guidance on healthy lifestyles and staff who are parents need to know their children are being cared for while they work.
Corporate services staff usually join the NHS with qualifications and experience. As a member of the wider healthcare team, everyone is encouraged to take further qualifications and to progress in their career.
Most corporate services staff are members of their own professional organisation. They keep up their skills with short training courses, conferences and seminars where they can network with others doing the same type of work.
See a list of the types of roles available in corporate services:
The NHS is a large organisation which needs to make sure it is communicating with its own staff and with the outside world. Communications and PR staff manage the way the NHS communicates. Staff may be making sure new policies are passed on and that staff feel consulted about changes. They may arrange meetings and conferences with local businesses and other organisations. PR staff manage local media contacts, including social media.
Finance staff make sure that money in the NHS is well spent. Staff may work on payrolls, ensuring staff are paid correctly and on time. They may work in accounts departments, paying invoices for goods and services bought by the NHS. Senior finance staff help departments set and manage their budgets.
Human resources (HR) staff deal with all aspects of employing staff. They recruit new staff and make sure they are properly trained. HR staff are experts on employment law and procedures so they advise managers on discipline, managing absence and equal opportunities. HR staff work at all levels from assistants to managers.
Technical and buildings
Architects design buildings to meet the needs of clients and users. In the NHS architects may design new buildings or extensions to existing buildings. They may also be renovating some of the many historic buildings which the NHS owns. As well as design work, architects may project manage construction or renovation. Architects are fully qualified when they join, or work with, the NHS.
Surveyors manage NHS buildings. They could be involved in any aspect of building management including buying and selling, leases and tenancies, property maintenance or valuations. Surveyors may work as asset managers or estates managers in the NHS. They usually join the NHS fully qualified.
Chaplains are faith leaders who look after the spiritual needs of patients, staff and visitors. They support people of faith or no faith who are anxious or bereaved. They visit patients on wards and arrange worship for patients and staff, often in a chapel or multi-faith room. Although chaplains have their own faith they work with other faiths.
Health play staff work with children and young people who are in hospital. They make sure children who are ill do not miss out on experiences such as playing with other children, making friends and going on outings. Staff also help prepare children for clinical procedures and can monitor a child’s progress and development. Play staff support families, too. They may work in hospices as well as hospitals.
Nursery nurses and assistants work with pre-school children, either young patients or the children of NHS staff. Nursery nurses organise the daily routine to include meals, activities and rest times. Assistants care for the children and lead play and other activities. Nursery staff also support parents and carers with their parenting. Nursery nurses have to be qualified, nursery assistants need GCSEs and childcare experience.
Many hospitals or trusts have arts projects for patients or staff which could be visual arts, music, poetry, literature or crafts. Arts managers raise funds and create projects to bring artists into hospitals. Projects can result in exhibitions or concerts in hospitals or regular reading groups or reading aloud sessions.