Many young people will be feeling overwhelmed with different emotions as their A-Level results are published today. Whatever the results are, times of change can be stressful and scary. Oxford Health is letting families know it is there for them.

The work of the NHS during COVID has been hugely inspiring to young people. More than 17,000 people, aged 20 and under living in England, applied to join a nursing degree course by 30 June – up around a sixth on 2018.

If you are now thinking about your next steps and starting your career journey, nursing is a great option for young people. With a diverse range of roles available within children’s care, adults, older people, learning disability and mental health. Opportunities for further specialism within these roles is available when qualifying.

With thousands of degree places available at dozens of universities across the Country, grants between £5,000 and £8,000 per year available, starting salaries of £24,900 and no shortage of jobs when qualified, the NHS is seeking to highlight nursing as a strong career choice in “uncertain times”.

Oxford Health launched a nurse cadet programme earlier this year, setting young people on an apprenticeship programme where they progress from a Band 2 senior healthcare worker and can go on to become a fully registered nurse. The first cohort will begin on 7 September with 20 new recruits. (More to follow soon).

A career in the NHS doesn’t just mean nursing and includes a range of allied health professional and medical roles such as, psychiatrist; specialty dentist; physio, occupational therapist; dietitian; podiatrist; psychologist; speech and language therapist, and over 300 more.

Marie Crofts, Chief Nurse at Oxford Health said: “We have a wide variety of roles within Oxford Health across our services in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and further afield in Swindon and Wiltshire. So, whoever you are, whatever your background and wherever you want to go, it’s a fantastic time to join us.”

Louis Headley joined Oxford Health four years ago, straight after his A-Levels, ready to do an apprenticeship in business project management. His placement was so enjoyable that he was inspired to go on to become a governor and participation lead for Children and Young People’s Services (CAMHS).

“I remember results day. Direction for me was unknown. I no longer knew where I wanted to be, but I did know I wanted to help people. Thankfully, I fell into the NHS. Never looked back.” He said.

“The trust has allowed me to not only allowed me to be a part of a family that seeks to support and help others but also explore myself. Learning and growing day by day.”

For those who are not sure what to do next, or who are struggling right now, it is important to be kind to yourself. Practicing good self-care will help you cope with feelings of trepidation about the future. This includes:

  • Eating well
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Talking about how you feel
  • Taking time to do things you enjoy
  • Keeping in regular contact with your circle of friends and family

Dr Rob Bale, clinical director and consultant psychiatrist at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “If you are struggling with anxiety or other difficulties at this time, do take advantage of our 24-hour free mental health helpline.

“Our trained advisers can help.

“If you are over 18 years, please call 0800 783 0119 or if you are young person aged under 18 years, ring 0800 783 0121.”

If you are interested in a career at Oxford Health, visit: www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/careers/