The NHS in London is calling for those starting or changing careers to consider a role within the NHS, as a national annual recruitment drive launches in a bid to bolster the workforce and futureproof the health service.
The We are the NHS campaign will shine a light on careers within healthcare and showcase the range of job opportunities available, from nursing to radiography to podiatry.
Last year’s campaign, alongside increased investment for degrees and placements and the extraordinary work of NHS staff throughout the pandemic, prompted a surge in applicants to healthcare degrees, with the number of undergraduate nurses increasing for the fourth year in a row.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said that working for the NHS “lets you live a thousand lives” through the patients and families you care for and said that there was a role for everyone.
There are now more than 1.3 million people working for the NHS, an increase of almost 30,000 since June 2020 and the capital has seen its workforce increase by nearly 5,000 in the last year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown more than ever that the future of England’s health and social care system relies on its people.
It has been one of busiest summers for the NHS, with staff delivering millions more tests and treatments while caring for thousands more patients in hospital with Covid.
This would not have been possible without the collective efforts of NHS staff right across the health service.
Martin Machray, Registered Nurse and Executive Director of Performance for the NHS in London said:
“NHS staff have been at the forefront of the capital’s response to Covid-19, and rose to the challenges presented by the pandemic to care for Londoners while successfully delivering the fastest ever NHS vaccination programme protecting our city from the coronavirus.
“I joined the NHS when I was just 20 and love my job as much now as I did on my first day. I have enjoyed a fantastic career, working across all parts of the health service and a wide range of patients. Together with many colleagues from all backgrounds, as an NHS nurse I have had the honour to be in the position to support patients and their families when they needed it most.
“No matter what your experience or qualifications, there are many routes to working in the NHS where a fulfilling, rewarding and exciting career awaits.”
Craig Royce, a newly qualified nurse who starred in this year’s recruitment advert, said:
“I have just joined Great Ormond Street Hospital’s (GOSH) scrub team as a newly qualified nurse after moving to London and spending the last 3 years training with GOSH and South Bank University.
“I’m originally from the North East and previously worked within retail, but having found volunteering with young people very worthwhile, I decided to make a change and pursue a career in helping people.
“I have dyslexia and was never fond of education, but the training for this role has worked really well for me, and I was able to complete my A levels as a mature student alongside another job.
“I would love to see more men consider nursing in the future, it’s a career I wish I had considered sooner.”
Since launching the national campaign in 2018, the average number of undergraduates starting a nursing degree each year has risen by around 8,000.
Nursing graduates are amongst the most employable, with 94% in work within six months of completing their degree, and there are opportunities to specialise in a range of disciplines, including mental health, community care and paediatrics.
Last year’s We Are The NHS campaign saw a 35% increase in nursing applications, a significant increase on the previous year.
Annual payments of at least £5,000 are available to student nurses and those studying degrees related to allied health professions, such as speech and language therapy or occupational therapy.