Joining the NHS

Advice for members of the armed forces community looking to join ESNEFT or other NHS organisations

The advantages of working for ESNEFT

We are committed to supporting colleagues with a connection to the Armed Forces. Here are a few of the ways we support our Armed Forces colleagues:

  • Armed Forces staff network – in late 2021 we established an internal staff network  for veterans, services spouses and partners, reservists and cadets, as well as anyone else with a connection to the armed forces.
  • 10 days’ additional leave for reservists
  • 5 days’ additional leave for cadet force adult volunteers
  • 3 days’ additional leave for those who volunteer their time to Armed Forces charities
  • Recognition of prior reckonable service – as the Trust has signed the Armed Forces Covenant pledge, previous service within HM Forces is recognised towards reckonable service for the purposes of annual leave entitlement
Armed Forces Covenant - Employer Recognition Scheme - Gold Award 2023


Application top tips

If the job application includes a tick box asking whether you are a member of the Armed Forces community, make sure to tick this – ESNEFT and some other NHS organisations offer guaranteed interview schemes if you meet the essential criteria.

Get in touch with the point of contact cited on the job advert. It is always useful to have an initial conversation to ask more about the role and identify the key skills and attributes they are looking for as this is often difficult to articulate on a job description.

Highlight the skills you gained from the Armed Forces or being part of the community. For example, operational skills could help you implement new systems within the NHS. Being able to make difficult decisions under pressure would be a valuable attribute to many teams across the NHS.

When completing the application form, answer directly to the person specification. Use headings and subheadings to clearly show how you meet each requirement.

Get to know and reference the corporate values of the organisation you are applying to and link those to military values. For example, you could read ESNEFT’s organisational philosophy and values.

Use the ‘situation, task, action, result’ or ‘challenge, action, result’ techniques to articulate your answer to questions in the job application.

Being able to quickly adapt to changing environments and uplift others while managing a crisis would help the NHS during difficult periods. Make sure you emphasise all relevant experiences you have.


Useful websites

Step into Health (Opens in a new window)
Step into Health is made up of NHS organisations which have pledged their support to the programme. Through Step into Health, members of the Armed Forces community can connect to NHS organisations to set up training opportunities, clinical and general work placements, insight days and receive application support. The programme provides a dedicated pathway into a career in the NHS.

The Career Transition Partnership (Opens in a new window)
The Career Transition Partnership is the MoD’s official provider of Armed Forces Resettlement. They also provide a free recruitment service for employers wishing to hire ex-military personnel, which ESNEFT are a part of.

Forces Families Jobs (Opens in a new window)
Forces  Families Jobs highlight training, employment and volunteer roles for family members of currently serving UK military personnel. You can use this website with confidence knowing that employers have signed the Armed Forces Covenant or have demonstrated their commitment to the Armed Forces.


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