The Aspire@BWC Internship programme offers a unique opportunity to get a “behind the scenes” insight into the NHS and the career choices available.
The programme will give you the opportunity to lead on projects within a world-class organisation and will help you to develop your experiences to increase your chances for future employment. This programme is ideal for anyone who is looking to apply for the NHS Graduate management scheme.
“The great thing about the Aspire Internship Programme is that it is all about self-development. Your colleagues recognise that this is an opportunity to discover yourself and what you are passionate about, so the whole Trust actively works to nurture your skills and expand your abilities; encouraging growth and confidence in the workplace. Alice Sheppard, Project Assistant Dermatology Department
Victoria Banks Operation Intern
Victoria graduated with a BSc in Natural Sciences (Hons), Biology and Economics from form Durham University completed an internship in 2017 with the Operations Management team. At the end of her internship, she successfully secured a place on the NHS Graduate management scheme and is now back at our hospital as part of her placement.
Why did you apply for an internship at BCH?
I applied to the internship programme at BCH to gain experience of working with and learning from the senior management.They all have different styles, backgrounds
and skills to learn from. I loved the idea of being able to lead projects myself that would directly positively impact patient experience.
What does your role entail?
I am not an intern to a specific clinical group. I get involved with over-arching projects that have trust-wide implications as well as having the opportunity to get involved with projects specific to a given clinical group.
Currently I am working on a range of projects including: looking at what different ward-based staff understand by the term ‘clinical supervision’, creating a documentfor orthotics to go back out to tender and investigating why their non-attendance rates are high, redesigning the capacity planning tool to assist with the management of waiting lists, supporting a piece of work into how the hospital meets national requirements for invasive procedures.
What skills do you need to do your job?
I would say that having the ability to balance and prioritise a varied workload is vital in my role. Being organised and planning your day enables you to be flexible and adaptable to change. Being able to communicate effectively is really important.
What do you like about working for Birmingham Women's and Children’s Hospital?
The atmosphere- I love working in such a fun and friendly organisation. Everyone has been so welcoming and has helped me settle in. I also really enjoy the varied workload and an environmentwhere I am challenged, stretched and encouraged to do my best, while given support to help me succeed. Aspire provide us with so many different opportunities alongside work; like being a mentor to an apprentice, intern forums and a challenge week with other young people working at BCH.
What are your future plans and has your experience here affected them?
My experience at BCH so far has definitely confirmed that I want a career in NHS management. I would recommend this programme to anyone who is interested in the work of BCH and / or pursuing a career in the NHS or public sector.
Jordan Moss Project Assistant
Jordan Moss graduated with a BA from the University of Birmingham in 2016. He completed his internship within our PICU depart as a Project Assistant. He returned to university at the end of his internship having successfully obtained a placed to study medicine.
Can you tell us a little about what you’ve been up to as part of your internship?
Definitely! My role on PICU is very varied, so I have been involved in lots of projects. Primarily, I help the senior nurses with workforce management, ensuring we have enough nurses to open beds. I also act as an Informatics support for the department, which involves helping to look after ‘Vocera’ (a hands-free communication device), the Intranet and tech issues on the unit. I have recently also been involved in some general project management work for the unit, which has allowed me to be involved in lots of exciting and innovative projects. As this Internship I have also visited Toronto, Canada to present a project the ICU Congress.
What do you think of the Aspire@BWC programme?
I think it is an excellent way to begin work in the NHS, and to get a taste of how it actually is working in a hospital. A lot of work goes into the delivery of healthcare behind the scenes: its not just Doctors and Nurses! I also think the support that you receive (from the Aspire lead and with the ILM leadership training course) makes it a great halfway house between Uni and the world of work.
My internship has really given me a taste for the clinical side of the NHS
What interested you about this particular internship?
BCH is one of the leading providers of paediatric healthcare in the UK, and the Intensive care unit is one of the best in the country (if not the best!). I was attracted to working in support of a clinical area because my own interests lie in the clinical side of things, and this internship has allowed me to get a real experience of how the unit runs on a day to day basis. Being a part of Team BCH has been incredible.
What would you say to other people considering applying for an internship?
I’d encourage them to do their research first of all – readthe job descriptions carefully, take a look at Aspire’s and the Hospital’s website, and contact the current intern in the position you’re applying for to have a chat about the role.
I’d also recommend visiting the hospital – it really helps you get a feel for the organisation. If you’ve done all this and still want to apply, go for it! The application is great experience and all the interns have said their interviewers were really friendly and encouraging – even if you don’t get on the scheme, you’ve still had great experience of writing applications and being interviewed.
What would you have told your 16 year old self?
Don’t worry if you are unsure as to what you want to do. There is a lot of pressure to pick the correct A-levels, the right degree, and to have a set career path from the age of 16. Actually, the people who do have career plans at 16 often change their minds/regret their choices. Just go with the flow and get as much first-hand experience as you can. I would say that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you are learning about the world and about yourself.
How to apply
Opportunities are advertised every year during February-March on www.jobs.nhs.uk. We may have limited internship opportunities outside of this period where available.
We also hold an annual open day for applicants to attend which takes place in February. Please visit the events page for the latest information on upcoming Aspire events.
Interviews for positions take place in June with the internships starting in September.
What type of roles are available
Our internships are offered across a variety of different departments These have included in the past:
Corporate nursing team
The corporate nursing team comprises of a number of elements including Bereavement and Palliative Care, Volunteer Services, Patient Experience, Parent Accommodation and Health Promotions.
Interns here have worked
- On setting up and managing our YPAG (Young People’s Advisory Group) which was established to helping to raise awareness of the issues faced by young people within healthcare. YPAG have got actively involved in making changes and decisions in the hospital which have a positive impact on the service received by our patients.
- Other projects have included ‘Big Discussion’ and ‘Takeover day’ where young people’s views will were heard by NHS Professionals.
The operation team are responsible for the general day-today running of the hospital and also work on identifying projects to improves clinical services
Interns here have worked
- Working on improving the working environment for the staff on the frontline on our ward by developing survey’s, researching and solving any issues that arise and just being a listening ear.
- Working with the informatics team - learning how to use and maintain our Vocera handheld devices which have revolutionised the older pager.
- Helping set up a CDU GP telephone referral system, a minor illness stream in ED over winter and a performance report (CQUIN) on Sepsis screening in ED.
Other departments where have had interns includes our Fundraising, Education, Pharmacy, Dermatology and CAMHS teams.
What's included in the scheme
Every month our interns get together where a guest speaker visits them from the hospital to talk about a particular area or project. These forums are also a brilliant way for our interns to update each other on projects they are working on and share ideas.
Our interns have access to a mentor who they can meet with to talk about their progress and help them to consolidate their learning and think about their future career plans. Our mentors come from a wide variety of backgrounds including clinical.
Training and development
A range of development opportunities to develop your transferable skills.
There are many fantastic opportunities to observe other areas of the hospital as part of the internship. Interns could visit the theatres department to see how an operation is undertaken or spend time on a ward seeing how patients are cared for in the hospital.
Our interns have a dedicated project co-ordinator whose role is to support the interns during their placement and supporting their progress and concerns confidently.
Supporting Aspire@BWC events
Interns have the opportunity to support events and have in the past delivered presentations at local universities and school about Aspire and the Internship programme, attended the National Skills Show at the NEC and mentored some of our apprentices. Some of our interns have also appeared on ITV News!
End of year celebration
At the end of the year we hold our annual graduation event where we celebrate all the hard work of young people on the internship scheme.
Where are they now?
Lucy Harrison completed her internship within our CAMHS (Child and Mental Health Service) department as a Project Assistant. At the end of her internship she remained with us as a Assistant Service Manager for the Radiology department where her role is to support the Clinical leads and Service Manager’s with the overall running of the department.
Ebru Heyberi-Tenekeci completed her internship within the Education and Learning Departments as E-Learning Technologist Intern. At the end of her internship, she successfully secured a position within her department as an E-Learning and Reporting Lead. Within this role, she is responsible for the development of interactive and enhanced content across a range of courses at the hospital.
How much can I expect to be paid?
We currently pay our interns £8.25 per hour. This is reviewed annually.
How long is an internship for?
Our internships are 48 weeks long.
What do I need to be eligible for the scheme?
You need at least a 2:2 degree or equivalent in any subject. You must have graduated
within the last 12 months or due to graduate before the start of the programme.
What kinds of people get a place on the scheme?
All sorts of people can get a place on the scheme. What they have in common are key competences, including confidence, values and strengths that fit with the values and needs of Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS. Above all else, our successful applicants understand the values of the hospital and the NHS, and have a desire to provide excellent healthcare to our patients and aspire to lead healthcare teams and organisations.
Do you offer any clinical internships?
We do not offer any clinical internships. However, as part of your role you may be working in a clinical setting or alongside clinicians. The internship will give you a great insight into this area. In fact, several of our interns have returned to university to study medicine, midwifery and nursing.
Is there a guaranteed job at the end of the scheme?
We do not guarantee a job at the end of the scheme. However many of our interns have been successful in securing paid employment. Interns have access to the IAG service and are provided with advice and guidance on career development, applying for jobs and interview prep during their time here.
Is there any training available toInterns?
The hospital offers several courses which interns can apply as well as a charities scholarship which interns can apply for funding from for external courses.
I need a placement as part of my degree, can I undertake a unpaid internship?
We do not currently support these types of placements
Are internships available for those on second year placements?
We do occasionally offer a limited number of Internships that are available for students who are seeking a placement year internship. These are advertised at the same time as other internships.
Is the scheme very competitive?
We receive more applications than places. For example last year we received 300 applications for 20 placements. Its therefore important that you ensure your application if correct and of high quality
I have studying for a masters. I am eligible?
Yes as long as you have completed this within the 12 months of the placement being advertised or will complete before the placement schemes begins.