In an effort to bolster the existing NHS workforce, who have worked tirelessly throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the health service is set to launch renewed efforts to further recruit into its existing 1.2 million-strong staff.
Contending with a second wave of Covid-19 infections at present, filling staff vacancies – particularly in stretched, frontline roles – is of particular importance.
The ‘We are the NHS’ campaign will look to capitalise on the ‘Nightingale effect’ being seen at the moment and aim to increase applications for both degree courses and direct entry job roles across the NHS.
Efforts are also being made to highlight the incredible work being carried out by current staff, with real stories from nurses, allied health professionals and healthcare support workers around the NHS being used within the recruitment materials.
There has been unprecedented interest generated around careers in the NHS, partly as a result of the professionalism and dedication shown by existing staff during the pandemic.
Adverts will be shown across TV, radio and billboards.
Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “This year – more than any other – people have seen the vital role nurses, midwives, paramedics and other health care workers carry out every day and the lives they have saved.
“We hope this campaign will inspire even more people to consider a career in the NHS which offers a huge range of opportunities for talented people whether they are looking for their first job or to kick start a new career.
“The ‘We Are the NHS’ campaign will celebrate the huge range of opportunities for nurses, midwives and other health workers but also the profound impact they will have on the lives of patients in a career that really is second to none.”
Child, adult and mental health nursing, along with midwifery and some allied health professional roles, all require a degree. Nurses can specialise in a variety of areas, with responsibilities ranging from the performance of some medical procedures to the development of treatment plans for patients.
An equally broad range of roles are available within allied health professional specialisms, including podiatrists, physiotherapists, prosthetists and speech and language therapists.
Healthcare support worker roles, however, are more suited to those looking to beginning a career in healthcare or people who want to switch to a role in the healthcare, with most positions available to enter with GCSEs.
The NHS already has more than 100,000 healthcare support workers (HCSWs) who provide a vital role in ensuring patients receive the best possible care while feeling comfortable, dignified and supported.
They work across a range of settings including mental health, midwifery, and in learning disabilities care.
Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England, said: “I’m exceptionally proud of being a nurse and am thrilled that so many others feel the same way; in 2020 we’ve had a quite phenomenal number of applications onto registered nursing programmes.
“Growing the healthcare workforce is key to ensuring patients and the public have high-quality, safe care.
“Showcasing the inspiring nurses, allied health professionals and healthcare support workers who feature in this campaign will mean that the very best people continue to be attracted to these important roles.”