Background & pilot

Book and Laptop

The Step into Health programme was the first of its kind to offer a career access pathway from the military into the NHS, with the aim of highlighting the many career opportunities available within the NHS and how the Armed Forces community can access them.


Designed by the NHS in conjunction with The Royal Foundation and Walking with the Wounded, the programme began as a pilot at Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2014. Following this success, four further trusts had the opportunity to join the pilot including Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The pilot organisations offered career insight days and bespoke work experience placements for ex-service personnel, they also explored career opportunities and supported potential candidates to apply for job vacancies. 

The NHS Employers organisation has been tasked with rolling out the programme across the whole of the NHS. It is our role to support all employers taking part in the programme and to ensure that Step into Health is embedded into recruitment strategies and becomes business as usual. To find out what is involved, take a look at the pledge certificate to find out how you can pledge your commitment to the Armed Forces community.

Case studies

In the pilot case study, find out how the five pilot NHS trusts rolled out the Step into Health programme in their organisation and the successes that were achieved. Key statistics for the pilot sites include:

  Norfolk & Norwich    Hampshire Sheffield   London  Northumbria Totals 
Information days  13 29 
Attendees to date 128  79  47  114  34  402 
Work placements  43 17  13  53  10  136 
Employment within the NHS  9 15  29 
Further education within healthcare  4

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