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Written by Emily StokerEmily Stoker

NHS Cover Letter Example

Over 80% of NHS staff believe their work makes a difference. However, if you want to pursue a career that has meaning in the NHS, you’ll need to communicate why you could make a positive difference in this role. One of the best ways to do this is with a compelling NHS cover letter. Here’s how to write one that works for you.
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NHS Cover Letter Example
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If you’re looking for a job that can make a difference, the NHS could be the place for you. According to the NHS Staff Survey in 2022, 86.9% of responders felt that their roles make a difference to patients. However, to show that you have the unique profile to make this difference, you may well be asked to provide an NHS cover letter. 

Whether you’re medical personnel or working behind the scenes in admin or even staff support, a career in the NHS can offer you the opportunity to touch the lives of Britons from all sorts of backgrounds. 

In this cover letter guide, along with the corresponding NHS cover letter example, we’ll cover the following topics to help you write the best cover letter possible:

  • How to choose the best cover letter format and what paragraphs the cover letter should include
  • How to maximise the effect of each cover letter paragraph (header, greeting, intro, body and conclusion)
  • What approach to take when writing your cover letter
  • What mistakes to avoid when writing your NHS cover letter.

Check out our library of cover letter examples for inspiration.

If you’re looking for additional inspiration for cover letter writing, you can check out our related cover letter examples:

Statistical insight

One of the focuses for the 2023 NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is the aim to have 130,000 fewer staff leaving the institution over the next 15 years. 

Tactics for this include funding for schemes to train nursing personnel and schemes to improve work culture and leadership. If you can get a foot in the NHS, you may find it’s a great place to grow throughout your career!

Best format for an NHS cover letter

Regardless of the type of position you’re applying for, every NHS cover letter should follow the same format. In order to make sure that your cover letter meets the hiring manager’s expectations, the format of your NHS cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)
Adaptable cover letter sample

Dear Mrs Bratheron,

I am writing to express my interest in the nurse practitioner position at Fordingbridge Surgery. As an RGN educated nurse with years of experience in the NHS and at a private hospital, I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring my skills to the local area.

In my previous nursing role at Littleby Hospital, I performed post-surgery and rehabilitation duties with competence and compassion. This included tasks ranging from complex wound care, to collaborating with doctors on individual patient care plans and working towards their smooth discharge from hospital. My dedication to patient wellbeing extended beyond clinical tasks. I actively supported patients in improving and maintaining their mental and physical health.

An essential skill required for your advertised role is managing the daily tasks associated with patient rehabilitation after complex surgery. One of my notable achievements at Littleby was improving patient satisfaction upon safe discharge. I did this by leading my team in creating a centralised discharge planning hub. This allowed us to collaborate with other departments who we depended on for safe discharge of patients. I also included resources and information about local care resources in patients’ ongoing care plans. This resulted in many patients being safely discharged earlier than expected with a 20% improvement in their satisfaction scores.

I am eager to join the team at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and contribute my expertise to the delivery of high-quality healthcare services. I am confident that my clinical skills, knowledge of chronic illnesses, and dedication to patient care align well with the requirements of this role.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how I can make a positive impact on the healthcare team at Southern Health in greater detail. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Contact Information] to schedule an interview.

Thank you for considering my application. I would be enthusiastic to discuss my application further in an interview.

Sincerely,

Louis Smith

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Cover letter header

The cover letter header is the part of your document which reminds the hiring manager who you are and how to contact you. Start your NHS cover letter off the right way by including these details in a clear and legible format at the top of your document.

After all, if you play your cards right then you might well find the hiring manager wants to contact you right away! Make their life a little easier by having all of the necessary information clearly available so that they’re ready to go. The cover letter sample content below provides an idea on how you can structure yours.

Cover letter greeting

It’s important that you start off your cover letter with the right tone. Always stay on the side of formality by addressing your cover letter with the greeting “Dear”. Follow up by personalising the cover letter to the hiring manager or head of department.

Stay away from the generic “to whom it may concern”. Taking a few extra minutes to see who is in charge of the department on the NHS trust or healthcare facility’s website will pay off. It’s a great way to show that you are on the ball and personable.

Cover letter introduction

The first paragraph of your NHS cover letter is arguably the most important. This is what the hiring manager will skim through to decide whether or not it’s pertinent enough for them to keep reading. So, make it clear that you’ve understood why they’re hiring and how you can help. You’ve diagnosed their issue. The best treatment? Hiring you, of course!

The best way to communicate this is to show off your professional best bits in a few short sentences. Make it clear which position you’re applying for and why you’re the right person for the job. You can imagine the introduction as a bite-sized teaser of what the rest of the cover letter will build on. Include keywords and achievements that will communicate to the hiring manager right off of the bat that you’re a candidate that is worth taking seriously. 

See how this can be done in practice by checking out the cover letter sample content below.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Mrs Bratheron,

I am writing to express my interest in the nurse practitioner position at Fordingbridge Surgery. As an RGN educated nurse with years of experience in the NHS and at a private hospital, I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring my skills to the local area.

Copied!
Expert tip

Write the intro last

Since your introduction should give the reader a taste of the rest of your cover letter, it can be strategic to write this last. That way you’ll already know exactly what is most important to communicate to the hiring manager. You’ll be able to communicate that more concisely once you’ve already written the rest of your NHS cover letter.

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle paragraphs of cover letters is where the magic really happens. These couple of paragraphs are where you can dive into the concise details of why your professional profile and experience suits what the hiring manager is looking for. How will you make a clear case that you meet the role’s most important requirements? Think of a couple of examples of previous achievements or experience that demonstrate why you fulfil them.

When it comes to turning these examples into paragraphs in your NHS cover letter, remember to use the STAR method. This is a sure-fire way to help the hiring manager to connect the dots. How does what you bring to the table respond to exactly what they’re looking for?

  • S - Situation. Aim to explain the situational context in one sentence.
  • T - Task. Describe the task that you had to complete.
  • A - Action. Explain the action that you personally carried out.
  • R - Results. What were the results that your contribution led to?

If you’re stuck on where to start, you can take some inspiration from the NHS cover letter sample paragraphs below.

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

In my previous nursing role at Littleby Hospital, I performed post-surgery and rehabilitation duties with competence and compassion. This included tasks ranging from complex wound care, to collaborating with doctors on individual patient care plans and working towards their smooth discharge from hospital. My dedication to patient wellbeing extended beyond clinical tasks. I actively supported patients in improving and maintaining their mental and physical health.

An essential skill required for your advertised role is managing the daily tasks associated with patient rehabilitation after complex surgery. One of my notable achievements at Littleby was improving patient satisfaction upon safe discharge. I did this by leading my team in creating a centralised discharge planning hub. This allowed us to collaborate with other departments who we depended on for safe discharge of patients. I also included resources and information about local care resources in patients’ ongoing care plans. This resulted in many patients being safely discharged earlier than expected with a 20% improvement in their satisfaction scores.

I am eager to join the team at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and contribute my expertise to the delivery of high-quality healthcare services. I am confident that my clinical skills, knowledge of chronic illnesses, and dedication to patient care align well with the requirements of this role.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how I can make a positive impact on the healthcare team at Southern Health in greater detail. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Contact Information] to schedule an interview.

Copied!

How to close an NHS cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

Your NHS cover letter should end as it began: on a personable yet formal note. Your final paragraph is a short reminder of your enthusiasm for the role and inviting the hiring manager to discuss this NHS role further in an interview. Sign off with the time-tested salutation “Sincerely” followed by your full name, like in the cover letter sample content below. Simple!

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

Thank you for considering my application. I would be enthusiastic to discuss my application further in an interview.

Sincerely,

Louis Smith

Copied!

NHS cover letter with no experience

If you’re applying for a job in the NHS without previous experience, you’re not alone. After all, we all have to start from somewhere! Luckily for you the cover letter is the perfect place to show off your enthusiasm and suitability for the role beyond the constraints of a CV format. 

NHS professionals can find themselves in a variety of roles calling on very different skill sets. However, usually candidates are looking to work in the NHS because they have some interest in bettering the lives of others. If that sounds like you, lean into your support for the mission of the NHS. 

You can also talk about your compassion for the patients. Soft skills are important in any job, but especially in an institution like the NHS that revolves around caring for people when they could be at their most vulnerable. Demonstrating a wider understanding of the job with points like this are just some ideas of how to show that you are a good fit for a career in the institution.

Key takeaways

  1. An enthusiastic NHS cover letter that uses the STAR-method to set out your case can help to set you apart from other candidates.
  2. Emphasise your passion for the NHS’ mission and their commitment to improving patients' lives, even if you lack experience.
  3. Stand out from the crowd of generic hopeful job seekers by personalising your greeting and avoiding generic salutations like "To whom it may concern."
  4. Consider writing your introduction last to ensure it aligns with the rest of your NHS cover letter's content.

When you’re ready to commit pen to paper, you can consider checking out some of our cover letter templates. Using a template can minimise the time you spend making sure your NHS cover letter has the perfect design to impress that hiring manager.

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Build your cover letter in minutes
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
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Build your cover letter in minutes
Build your cover letter in minutes
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
Create Cover Letter

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