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Career Advice

Guide to working in an NHS Project Manager role

As an NHS Project Manager, you’ll be responsible for the planning, delivery and implementation of a new policy, service or site, such as improving access to GPs. You could be involved in a range of different projects: 

  • improving patient experience;
  • reviewing services in specific clinical settings and mapping the workforce needed;
  • leading a strategic review of services across primary and secondary care;
  • reviewing clinical engagement, etc.

You will work with stakeholders such as local health providers, workforce planners and local education and training boards.

Qualifications and Entry Requirements

There is a variety of entry routes into a career in project management within the NHS. The NHS will welcome applications from people with previous experience within an administrative role in the NHS, candidates with the relevant degree or relevant project management experience in another sector.

For most junior positions, you will need moderate to high grades GCSEs (four or five GCSEs at Grades A-C or equivalent). With appropriate training and support, after gaining experience of staff supervision, you will be able to move on into project management.

Previous work experience and equivalent degree can be an advantage. As a recent graduate or an experienced specialist, you will be able to start at a higher administrative grade and then move into project management. Some managers are recruited directly for specific positions.

In order to boost your project management career and become a Programme Manager for example, you will need over 5 year-experience of working within the NHS and an industry-relevant Master degree or other management qualifications.

NHS Project Manager’s Key Skills

As an NHS Project Manager, you'll need to track work to be completed, set deadlines and delegate tasks to your project team, identifying any potential risks. Ultimately, you're responsible for completing the project work in line with the plan and will often report progress to senior managers.

In order to be a successful Project Manager within the NHS, there is a set of key skills that you need to demonstrate:

  • Leadership skills
  • Strong negotiating and influencing skills
  • Ability to build and motivate teams
  • Ability to build effective working relationships
  • Active listener
  • Flexible
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Calm and resolute under pressure
  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic
  • Strategic thinking


Is an NHS Project Manager role right for you?

If you feel that an NHS Project Manager role is your dream career, then check available opportunities here.

If you are not sure that a Project Manager role is right for you, read the story of a project manager at a prominent NHS Trust and learn about his career path and his views on working within the NHS. You can also take a look at our quick test to find out if you are suited for the Project Manager role.

Follow our TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn to stay updated with the recent project management jobs and get in touch with our team via if you have any questions.

Written by Tatiana Romancova, Marketing Manager at GoToJobBoard

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