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The NHS was launched in 1948.

It was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth – one of the NHS's core principles. With the exception of some charges, such as prescriptions, optical services and dental services, the NHS in England remains free at the point of use for all UK residents. This currently stands at more than 64.6 million people in the UK and 54.3 million people in England alone.

The NHS in England deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours. It covers everything, including antenatal screening, routine screenings (such as the NHS Health Check), treatments for long-term conditions, transplants, emergency treatment and end-of-life care.

Responsibility for healthcare in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government respectively.

The NHS employs more than 1.5 million people, putting it in the top five of the world’s largest workforces, together with the US Department of Defence, McDonalds, Walmart and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

The NHS in England is the biggest part of the system by far, catering to a population of 54.3 million and employing around 1.2 million people. Of those, the clinically qualified staff include 150,273 doctors, 40,584 general practitioners (GPs), 314,966 nurses and health visitors, 18,862 ambulance staff, and 111,127 hospital and community health service (HCHS) medical and dental staff.

The NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland employs 161,415; 84,000 and 66,000 people respectively.

Inclusive features

More about NHS


Our Equality Standards

To support our Public Sector Equality Duty, we participate in external monitoring standards which hold us accountable for improving workforce diversity and equality. These are the Workforce Race Equality Standard, the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, and in the near future, the newly- launched Workforce Disability Equality Standard.


Our organisational accreditations include:

o    Disability Confident Employer,

o    Stonewall Diversity Champion

o    Mindful Employer


Staff networks

Employees can access a number of staff networks including LGBT, BME and Disability to share experiences, influence and assist in shaping and delivering organisational strategy and policy and help improve staff experience.


Staff policies

All our policies have Diversity and Inclusion at their core. We also have specific policies about Diversity and Inclusion and Trans Equality to support colleagues and their line managers.


Reasonable adjustments

We understand our legal duty to provide adjustments on request for employees with long term conditions, impairments, disabilities and caring responsibilities. We are committed to ensuring there are no barriers in the way of colleagues carrying out their duties. We know our colleagues thrive when they have the necessary support in place.


Workplace Adjustment Passport for disabled colleagues

The passport helps employees capture a record of the adjustments needed and the agreements made with their line manager and other relevant parties. It's a confidential, optional record that is owned by the employee and can be taken with them if they move teams.


Open Chief Executive, job opening in NHS

Chief Executive

Chief Executive England, UK

Organisation: NHS Role: Chief Executive Advert Reference Number: 2105-009L Location: England Lead and transform the National Health Service to address the population s health n...

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