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Leaving your job amicably

By Daniel Allard

​When it comes to NHS jobs, if you are experienced as a locum healthcare worker there’s a strong chance that at some point in the future you may return to a previous employer for a new short-term contract. Therefore, it’s vital that you learn how to leave your job amicably, keeping the door open for a potential return.

As experienced recruiters throughout the NHS, we’ve worked closely with various disciplines including nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and mental health (amongst many others). Although each sector will have their own intricacies and specific details, we believe that there are many commonalities involved as you come to the end of your NHS agency contract.

Pay attention to your notice periods

If you're working on a fixed-term contract, there may be occasions where you need to take the difficult decision to end a contract early. Or, if you are considering leaving your permanent NHS job role, the most important thing is to ensure that you’re aware of the correct notice period as stipulated in your contract.

NHS wards are extremely busy and staffing levels need to be maintained for patient safety. Therefore, it’s imperative that you make sure that your colleagues are given ample time to source a replacement. It shows your professionalism and also your commitment to patient care.

Ensure a swift and comprehensive handover

Before you leave, you should ensure that your patient notes are kept up to date and that any administration tasks are completed. Perhaps there is a patient who prefers communication in a particular way, or they respond well to a certain type of care. If you know something which could help the support of a particular patient, then make sure you pass on that feedback. It helps to ensure consistency of care and could enable your replacement (if applicable) to hit the ground running.

Professionalism = positive references

When it comes to agency nursing jobs or NHS occupational therapy jobs (or any other healthcare role), it’s always important to remember that continued professionalism will lead to positive references.

If you prefer the flexibility of agency work, your CV and experience is only ever as strong as your last reference. The best way to get a positive reference from an employer is to continue your hard work and dedication up to your very last day. You need to show the same levels of commitment as you did on your very first day. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your notice period or your final few days have been easy as possible for your NHS Trust. If you do this, you can feel confident that you’ll receive a positive reference.

If you’re coming to the end of your nursing agency job, or you’re ready to find a new radiography or psychologist role, take a look at our latest job vacancies.