UK Armed Forces Veteran

NHS recruitment: Armed Forces veterans urged to join workforce

NHS England (NHSE) is launching a new recruitment drive for Armed Forces veterans in a bid to bolster the allied health professional (AHP) workforce.

Running until March 2025, the campaign will include a series of open days at universities up and down the country, which will harness the power of virtual reality to offer insight into how some roles work.

AHPs are the third largest part of the NHS workforce (behind doctors and nurses) and range from art therapists to paramedics.

The drive is in support of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan goal to have 71,000 more AHPs in place by 2036/37.

With at least 12,000 people leaving the Armed Forces every year, NHSE is aiming to attract veterans’ leadership, resilience and compassion.

Andrew Murrison comment

The first event will showcase occupational therapy, with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust hosting and broadcasting across five universities, including:

  • University of Sunderland
  • University of Plymouth
  • Bournemouth University
  • Coventry University
  • University of Lincoln

Chief workforce officer at NHSE, Dr Navina Evans, said that to achieve the goals set out in the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, the health service will need to “recruit staff from a wide range of backgrounds” and armed forces veterans have a “fantastic depth of skills”.

Andrew Stephenson, health minister, added: “The NHS stands to benefit immeasurably from their [veterans] training, qualifications and experience, and this campaign demonstrates our commitment to support veterans to pursue rewarding careers after service.”

AHP programme manager at NHSE, Paul Chapman, said: “Former members of the Armed Forces looking to join the NHS are a huge asset to the health service. We recognise the skills they bring and the value they provide, and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to find new roles and make the transition.”

Image credit: iStock

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