What are the advantages of working in the private healthcare sector?

HCL Permanent frequently work with a range of private organisations around the UK, in addition to NHS trusts and local authorities.

If you’re thinking about taking a step forward with your career and applying for a job in the private healthcare sector, you may be trying to work out what the benefits of such a move are.

As with any decision about moving new to a new role, it’s important to take the time to do your research, weigh up the pros and cons of your new employer and the sector, and ensure you’re fully informed. With this in mind, we take a look at a few of the key benefits to working in the private healthcare system and how a move to the private sector could benefit both your career and personal life.

Reduced case load

One of the most commonly recognised benefits of working in the private healthcare sector is the reduced case load. Although you will of course be pushed and challenged on a daily basis, there are generally less patients coming through the door in private hospitals. This allows healthcare professionals to dedicate more time to each patient, providing them with a thorough service that gives each individual more than the minimum level of care required. Without the pressures of a heavy case load, you as a healthcare professional are able to ensure patients are comfortable, their needs are met and that any problems they may be experiencing are quickly resolved.

One of the biggest issues facing staff in the public healthcare sector is burnout – a recent report found that 76% of NHS staff experienced mental distress or ill health at work. With resources stretched, employees overloaded with work, and an enormous number of patients waiting for the treatment they need, many professionals in the NHS are pushed to breaking point.

The private sector experiences a far lower rate of burnout due to its reduced case loads and lower patient numbers.

Employment benefits – health screenings, life insurance and other perks

There are a number of employment benefits and perks available in the private sector, many of which you wouldn’t receive anywhere else. Though it does depend on which company you’re employed by, these can include regular health screenings, private health insurance, life insurance, gym membership and free meals, among other things. The benefits associated with private healthcare roles can result in employees saving a large amount of money, so they’re worth considering if you’re thinking about a job in the private sector. Plus there are certain private organisations that give all the premium benefits plus the benefits of an NHS pension.


One great advantage to working in a permanent role in a private healthcare provider are the training and development opportunities. These organisations want to ensure they get the most from you. One way of doing this is by offering an enormous number of training opportunities to employees. Whereas the public sector’s stretched resources place limitations on the extent to which individuals can develop their skills and abilities, the private sector actively encourages career progression through learning opportunities. With greater control over what you want to learn and how you want to specialise, the private sector is the ideal place to work if you want to push your career in a particular direction.

More responsive workplace

Private healthcare institutions tend to be more independent than their public counterparts. This is partly due to size and partly down to the fact they don’t have to operate within the confines of one of the biggest employers and largest organisations in the UK. In order to function, the NHS depends on an enormous bureaucratic machine. This can be difficult to navigate, slow to respond and inhibit positive change. On the other hand, institutions in the private sector allow for a much more hands-on, responsive approach from their employees. Ideas and alterations are approved and implemented much more quickly and healthcare professionals often feel a lot more involved in the day-to-day running of their workplace than those in the public sector.

Greater control over schedule

For healthcare professionals who want greater control over both the number of hours they work and how they’re scheduled, the private sector can offer a lot more freedom. This flexibility gives individuals the opportunity to recalibrate the balance between their work and personal lives and to create a schedule that both employee and employer approve of. Whereas many professionals in the public sector find themselves overworked and unable to fully enjoy the time they have outside the workplace, this isn’t a particularly common problem in the private sector.

Diversify your experience

Working in the private healthcare sector gives you experience of a wide range of roles and responsibilities and broadens your experience. As well as operating in traditional healthcare positions, such as doctors, nurses, surgeons etc., employees in the private sector will often take responsibility for positions they wouldn’t otherwise occupy.

For instance, senior doctors in the private sector won’t just be responsible for their patients, but also the hiring and firing of staff, procurement of supplies and general day to day running of their department. This creates and shapes well-rounded healthcare professionals with experience of a wide range of roles and responsibilities, allowing them to develop their careers in any direction they deem fit.

If you’re thinking of taking a new step in your career, get in touch with our consultants on 020 7861 8950 or drop your CV online to start a no-obligation discussion about we can help you!