Integrated recruitment scheme signs up 300+ for wide-ranging roles

Case study summary

‘Proud to Care’, a successful recruitment scheme run in Devon, has hired over 300 people since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes a wide range of health and care staff from nurses, care workers,  medics, IT officers, and cleaners to chefs,  and healthcare assistants.


Devon County Council, on behalf of Devon Integrated Care System (ICS).

What was the aim?

Devon ICS lead Jane Milligan: “Recruiting to roles such as healthcare assistants, care workers and nursing associates is frankly crucial to the workings of our health and care system.”

‘Proud to Care’ was created to help identify suitable candidates and better match them to vacancies across the ICS, showing the wide offer of education and jobs across health and social care. It trials a matching service, giving one-to-one support to people to find the right role in their system.

What was the solution?

The scheme offers preparatory sessions for jobseekers on CV preparation and interview skills, alongside introductory guidance on health and social care roles, recruitment campaigns and job fairs, with information on new roles such as nursing associates and ‘Proud to Care’ ambassadors.

The ICS employs free social media to engage with jobseekers, encouraging people to start a career in the healthcare sector. People are directed to the scheme’s website, where health and care organisations in the ICS area advertise vacancies free of charge. This is alongside information on work placements, education and training and real stories from staff.

What were the challenges?

It was necessary to bring together disparate organisations between and within different sectors. Partners in the scheme include local hospitals, adult social care providers and clinical commissioning groups, the council and voluntary sector as well as the Department for Work and Pensions, Skills for Care, Health Education England and local colleges and universities.

What were the results?

Over 300 people have been hired via the Proud to Care scheme so far.

Through organisations working jointly across the ICS rather than individually, the system has been able to pool resources, strengthen partnerships and allow jobseekers to choose from a huge range of roles in just one website.

In the Drum Content Awards 2020, the campaign came second and was highly commended. The scheme was also shortlisted for the 2021 UK Content Awards.

What were the learning points?

Jane Milligan: “We’re extremely proud of Devon, and the options are vast for people who have the right values and want to flourish in a rewarding and worthwhile career.

“Working through the pandemic has been one of the toughest challenges the NHS has faced and we couldn’t have claimed successes such as the vaccine programme and rollout without our fantastic workforce. We’re so proud of our well-established Proud to Care programme and working together to recruit fantastic people helps us feel and act like one big team.

“If you want to help care for people and to help them live as independently as possible, we almost certainly have a role for you.”

Next steps

The system is now looking to develop a Devon Care Deal which could offer care workers a wider package of benefits, celebrating the work of health and care staff. A shared brand, ‘We Are Devon’, is in development to attract employees from around the world.