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The largest employer in the UK healthcare sector is the NHS, which employs more than 1.5 million people – placing it in the top five largest workforces in the world. There are more than 350 different roles available within the NHS.

A significant proportion of the sector’s workforce is in independent healthcare. In addition to their private sector functions, these providers are increasingly contracted to provide services on behalf of the NHS.

Independent healthcare organisations include Bupa, BMI Healthcare, Care UK, Ramsay Health Care UK and Spire Healthcare.

Voluntary and non-profit organisations in the healthcare sector include British Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) UK, Nuffield Health, Save the Children and Sue Ryder.

The NHS is divided into primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care. Primary care is often the first point of contact for people in need of healthcare, usually provided by professionals such as GPs, dentists and pharmacists.