Returning to health and social care careers

Many people take a break from working for one of many reasons – starting a family, caring for someone, a career change.

There are always opportunities for you to come back into health and social care at a time that is right for you. How you do this will depend on your profession, where you are in the country and how much time you have been away. For more detailed information on returning to NHS roles, please see the health careers website.

Sam works as a speciality doctor at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.

She initially trained as a General Practitioner which she did for four years before leaving the health care sector due to family commitments. After nine years out of health care she decided she would like to return to the workforce within emergency medicine. In this video, Sam talks about the support she received whilst returning to the workforce and how she is able to manage a work-life balance after her return.

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Allied Health Professionals return to practice

We welcome enquiries around Health and Care Professions Council return to practice from all allied health professionals and health care scientists professions. All organisations in Bradford District and Craven are committed to supporting the placement element of the return to practice process and we would love to have you join our workforce.

More information on the national programme can be found here

Listed below are some of the stories from our local professionals which we hope inspire you to consider joining our local teams

My background

I am a qualified physiotherapist from Peru having previously worked as a team leader neuro / physiotherapist in my homeland. I had experience of working in neurological rehabilitation using clinical assessment and treatment skills with children and adults for a number of years. I believed my experience and skills were an excellent asset to the NHS and I gained the HCPC accreditation in 2010, but for personal family reasons I decided to let my registration lapse.

Returning to practice

I decided to return to practice because I was in a position to commit and demonstrate I could work as a qualified physiotherapist. I have great passion to help people and I was very keen to return to practice as my children were now starting to grow up.  After 11 years, I have now gained HCPC registration again.

I started my return to practice process after I saw a job at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust having been working at Clitheroe Community Hospital (East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust) in the Rehab ward. I was offered a post with support through the return to practice process leading to a Band 5 post following HCPC registration.

Starting my new job

My first day on my return to practice in March 2020 was very intense and full of mixed emotions for my new job, especially as I started when the country went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  It was a new challenge starting my return to practice with new routines and responsibilities, and working in a new team.

Looking ahead

Having been given the opportunity to start work with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust I have become a dedicated and an enthusiastic HCPC registered physiotherapist and a member of the CSP. I am working hard to develop my career further and to attain the best training possible. I recently gained a promotion post as a Band 6 Senior Physiotherapist with Airedale Collaborative Care Team (ACCT) providing urgent care to people in their homes which helps to avoid hospital admissions and enable people to live independently for longer.  

My background

I qualified as a dietitian in 2010, after completing a -year postgraduate diploma at Leeds Beckett University. Prior to this I had graduated with a degree in Human Biology in 2003 from the University of Leeds and then spent the next 5 years setting up and running a catering business, which I sold in 2008.

Returning to practice

As I had embarked on my new career in dietetics at 27 years old, I was soon ready to start a family. I commenced my first post, at Bradford Teaching Hospitals and then left on maternity leave in 2012 and returned (pregnant again!) the following year. My 3rd child arrived very soon after and so I had a 7-year career break to raise my young family.

In 2019, I was ready for a new challenge and pondered returning to dietetics. As I had been out of practice and off the HCPC register for over 5 years, I had to complete a period of 60 days of supervision / study to be able to re-join.

Starting my new job

I returned to work during the pandemic and it reinforced my desire to get back to working in healthcare and I was very grateful to have the opportunity to be purposeful, hands on and ‘contributing’ during this time.

After my first day back on the wards I felt as though I had never been away.  I noticed that dietetics and healthcare as a whole had evolved during my absence, particularly in terms of technology. When I trained and had my first job, all records were hand written and the internet was not even available to use in the Trust!

I completed the HCPC RTP application forms and was officially added back to the register in September 2020. I took a Band 5 maternity post shortly after and then a permanent 0.5 Band 5 Adult Acute Dietitian post.

My day-to-day role is exciting and varied. I see patients on a number of wards at AGH, including Elderly Care, Orthopaedics, Gastroenterology and Cardiology. I also undertake a weekly outpatient clinic, with referrals for Coeliac Disease, Weight Management, Nutrition Support and IBS. I have an interest in Home Enteral Feeding and will be taking on a small clinical caseload to support the Band 6 dietitian, which will involve undertaking home visits.

Looking ahead

I often reflect on my RTP journey, realising that it is a smooth, enjoyable and far easier process than I anticipated. I would say to take each step one at a time and to not look too far ahead. Before you know it that huge, overwhelming mountain will be climbed.

I am so pleased that I completed my RTP and genuinely have a job that I love every aspect of- from the working environment at AGH, to the various teams that I am apart of and the patients that I see.