Zoe Oram

Job Title

AHP Head of Education

Is your role clinical or non-clinical?


When you were in school, did you want to join the NHS?

No, I wanted to be a teacher or an international businesswoman – changed my mind at college after a physio careers session.

Tell us about your job

I work within Orthopaedic Physiotherapy; supporting patients’ rehabilitation from surgery (planned and traumatic) through exercise, mobilisation, functional rehabilitation and advice / education to independently progress and maximise their recovery. Within my Head of Education role i support access to training courses, preceptorship (first year training and support for newly qualified AHPs), expand and support student capacity for career experience, apprenticeships, T levels and undergraduate students. I also work with the 350+ project team to outreach to local schools and colleges to promote and educate young people about NHS careers.

How did you come to work in the NHS?

I went to school and college in Hampshire and on deciding I wanted to train to be a physiotherapist I started working as a physio assistant. I did this while gaining my degree and then qualified and worked in Winchester, London and Southampton as a Physiotherapist. After 18 years of clinical practice I started working as the Head of AHP Education – supporting the training and development of our 900 AHP staff within the organisation. I have a passion for education and developing the clinical and leadership development of others to be the best healthcare professionals they can be – which in turn provides the best care to our patients.

What are some challenges?

Not always having access to the resource (time, funding, courses) to deliver what’s needed – for staff and patients. However we are adaptable, resourceful and creative to do what we can within our means to continually develop care and training.

What do you love about your job?

Time spent with patients makes a positive impact on their health (physical and mental) and recovery for injury. Time supporting staff and students grows the professional competence to deliver the best patient care and support world-class AHP services. On a daily basis I can honestly say that I make a difference and positively lead change to enhance the lives of others; both staff and patients.

Which Clinical colleagues support you?

I work directly with all AHPs (8 at UHS – ODP/OT/PT/Paramedics/Radiographers/SLTs/Dietitians/Orthoptists – registered and support staff), Professional Leads and Executives.

Which Non-clinical colleagues support you?

I work with admin and clerical teams, Training/Development/Workforce teams, Local education providers (HEIs), Students, Patients.

Is there career progression in your role and how would you get there?

Working clinically I progressed from a band 5 to 7 and then have stepped into non-clinical roles within Education and Workforce at band 7/8. There is good career promotion opportunities and I have advanced my qualifications through masters level study, coaching and education training to support my career development in a non-clinical direction.

What would you say to a young person thinking of joining the NHS?

Do it! Its a great team working environment, making a difference to others lives is so rewarding and the NHS as an employer works hard to support staff (through discounts, pension, maternity leave etc) and retain staff. It gives great career stability and opportunities to develop and diversify through your career.

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