The NHS is launching a renewed recruitment drive to capitalise on the ‘Nightingale effect’ as the health services contend with the second wave of COVID-19 and the deployment of vaccines to curb the deadly virus across the UK.
The pandemic has already generated unprecedented interest in joining the NHS while the demands of contending with coronavirus, but other services cannot stop running, meaning recruitment has never been more crucial.
The NHS campaign aims to increase applications for both degree courses and direct entry jobs, seeking to build upon the existing 1.2 million-strong workforce.
It will share real stories from nurses, allied health professionals and healthcare support workers who are proud of their careers in the NHS in adverts across TV, radio and billboards.
“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,” said Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England.
“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.
This year, candidates for university courses in nursing and allied health professions have access to a support system to guide them step-by-step through the application process, alongside tailored support. The government has recently announced 5,000 additional places for these courses, and grants and bursaries are available to support healthcare students through their studies, ranging from £5,000 to £8,000 each year.
Healthcare support worker roles, however, are more suited to those looking to begin 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.
“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,” said the NHS.
Search NHS Careers for more information and to find out more about the nursing, allied health professionals, and healthcare support worker roles available within the NHS.
The 14 allied health professions
Find out more about the fourteen allied health professions: