You don’t need to live near a hospital; the NHS operates throughout the community too, including doctors’ surgeries, dental practices, and NHS walk-in centres. The NHS is divided into ‘trusts’, each of which has its own responsibilities (including how it organises work experience) and its own management team. There may be several trusts in your area – one looking after hospitals, another in charge of ambulances, supporting people with mental health problems or taking care of local health needs, such as pharmacies and opticians.
So think about what sort of experience you’re after as this will help you decide which type of trust you need to contact. If you're not sure what you want to do yet, why not get an idea of the type of work placement you can do by reading what other students have done?
To find out about the NHS trusts in your area, use the NHS Choices website.
You can apply either through your school or college careers teacher/co-ordinator; possibly through your careers/Connexions centre or by applying directly to the trust. You can find contact details on the NHS Choices website.
However you apply, you’ll be sent an application form to fill in and you may be asked to come along for an interview. When you start you will have to sign an honorary contract. The process is quite simple and anyone can do it.
You may also be able to find volunteering opportunities at www.do-it.org.uk. They have thousands of placements across the country in health and social care.