Joining the NHS from the British Army.

Step in to Health – Raymond Olive, From Warrant Officer to Assistant Director of People and Organisational Development (Former British Army WO1 (ASM).

Transitioning from the British Army after serving for 24 years, during a global pandemic, could be considered as a challenge! It was a little daunting to be leaving whilst the current COVID situation was developing, but I was already in the interview process with University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) pre-COVID and had been successful at interview before lockdown was ordered.

So what? Well there was an option for me to remain in the service, but having been given a conditional offer of employment and having been treated so well by all that I had spoken with, I was certain that UHMBT was a place that I wanted to work. The values of the trust matched with my own, and the strap line “A great place to be cared for, a great place to work” really made me think that this was a place that I could “Belong” after my military service ended.

The process for recruitment was open and honest; I was told that I didn’t meet the description that you would have normally expected for my role. However, it was observed that the skills that I had gained from the military could be very useful for the trust within the role and I had a lot of transferable skills that I could bring with me. The role that I had been doing for the military was very similar to the role for which I applied, although from the wording of the advert that could have been missed. Thankfully, when I saw the advert for the role, I looked at it and thought I can do that and applied. The NHS is a place that many service leavers will not consider when leaving the military and I implore you to reconsider. The NHS has a wide variety of roles on offer, after all Hospitals are like small cities and require many different services to make them function. The skills that you have developed in the military will set you in good stead when applying with the NHS. For those in the NHS looking to recruit, I would strongly recommend that you consider hiring a veteran; they will add a new dynamic to your team and bring a unique skill set with them too!

Do I think that I have made the right decision on my future career? Absolutely!! I cannot speak highly enough about the whole team that I have come in to contact with during both my recruitment and my first days in post at UHMBT. Is it going to be a challenge working with the NHS? Yes it is, but being a veteran; we love a challenge and know how to apply ourselves in any given situation! It’s just a case of learning the new (NHS) language (and trying to get some military terms in to their vocabulary)…..

Thank you to UHMBT for providing this study.

Reserve Forces