GUEST BLOG: Inside the NHS Management Scheme

Guest blog written by Fiona, General Management Trainee, NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS)

For the next year I will be living in York as I’m currently based in the Oncology department at St James’ University Hospital in Leeds.

First and foremost, you don’t need any previous experience in management, the NHS, or any of the specialisms that are offered, to apply for the GMTS programme. Prior to joining the scheme in September, I had only just graduated from the University of St Andrews with a degree in Chemistry. The sum total of my management experience was holding various roles, including secretary, deputy and president, in several different university societies and my summer job working in retail.

There are five different streams you can apply for, most of which are 2-years in length and run alongside postgraduate courses that support your development in your specialism and as a leader. They include;

  • General
  • Human Resources
  • Finance (2.5 years)
  • Informatics
  • Policy and Strategy

More details on the courses can be found on the NHS GMTS website (

Most streams give you the opportunity to have two placements in different areas of the NHS, and one flexi-placement which can be outside the NHS. This can be with a charity, a car manufacture, a private healthcare company, a school; anything goes so long as it’s in the UK and will aid your development!

You may wonder if I have a typical day on the scheme. No day is the same; some days are filled with meetings, others filled by project work and some are spent offsite at education events.

Last week, I visited the University of York one evening after work for a Public Sector Panel. That morning, I attended a few meetings I’d arranged with other departments – being completely new to the NHS I had decided to meet with colleagues in areas such as Finance, HR, and contracting, in order to understand exactly how they fit into my work and I into theirs. After lunch I attended Team Brief, a monthly meeting lead by the Chief Executive where information about plans for the wider trust is shared. My afternoon was spent working on projects which include developing a new training plan for staff, developing a brand new website, and looking at activity and capacity within my department.

This week, I and my fellow trainees in the trust presented to the Executive Board. We were asked to reflect on our 20 day orientation period where we travelled round various parts of the NHS. Orientation is key part of the GMTS induction as you are given the opportunity to visit every corner of the NHS, something not many of the staff gets to do. I spent time in A&E, with midwives, in surgery, at a mental health hospital, with community nurses, at Public Health England and on an ambulance. It was extremely varied and eye-opening experience and we struggled to explain everything we learnt to the board in only 15 minutes!

Next week, I’ll be at the NHS Leadership Academy for my first residential course. As I am on the General Management stream I have only just started the educational side of the scheme, unlike the other streams which have been going to lectures and tutorials since September! The educational side is a huge part of the scheme as it is aiming to develop your leadership qualities and help you get more out of your day-to-day work whilst on placement.

So if you still have questions, or saw me at the careers event and wanted to ask more, there are tons of ways to great in touch with current trainees for a first-hand view on the GMTS programme.

  • NHS Graduate Scheme Blogs ( – these are written by current trainees, in every stream and from every year. They are a great way to get advise on applying, get insight into our work and I use them for tips on how to make the most of the scheme!
  • Twitter ( – the Graduate Scheme has its own Twitter account but they also maintain lists of accounts held by graduates on the scheme from 2014 (recently left), 2015 (2nd year) and 2016 (just started). They also have a list for alumni of the scheme. 
  • Snapchat (nhsgradscheme) – until December 6th there will be a graduate on Snapchat every workday to give you a first-hand glimpse in the kind of work we do whilst on the scheme. Each week different graduates take part and every stream is covered at some point. Please ask us questions!
Stream Insiders App Twitter
General Fiona W. @FionaNHS



@jllhutchings (alumni)

Human Resources Taylor P. @taylorcpf


Finance (2.5 years)   @AndyNHS


Informatics   @TomKeene647



Policy and Strategy Ryan D. @AmyFellNHS