As the NHS launches its biggest ever recruitment campaign, new research shows the special place that its staff hold in the hearts of people in the region.
Doctors and nurses top the poll as the most trusted and respected professions for people in the region, according to the research carried out for the major new campaign, ‘We are the NHS’.
The survey found that 63% of people in the North East would choose nurses and doctors as professions they trust the most and 42% of people said they were some of the most important roles in society.
But the majority of the public surveyed did not know the wide range of careers available working as a nurse, only 3% knew that nurses worked in mental health and one third could not name a nursing role outside of hospital like district nurses.
The £8 million campaign promotes the vast range of career opportunities available in the NHS and highlights the 540,000-strong nursing profession, including mental health, learning disability and community and primary care nurses, to encourage people in the North East to choose nursing as a career.
England’s most senior nurse, Professor Jane Cummings said the survey findings showed why young people should feel inspired to choose a career in the NHS but that more needed to be done to show the opportunities available for talented and dedicated people.
The new campaign, which started in the week of the NHS’s 70th birthday on July 5, features TV and radio advertising, posters and social media and will primarily target school children aged 14-18.
Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “The NHS is our country’s most loved institution and that is down to the expert skill, dedication and compassion of its brilliant staff.
“There are over 350 careers available within the NHS giving young people an astonishing range of options. Nursing and midwifery make up the largest part of the workforce and as I know from personal experience, provides a unique opportunity to make a real difference to peoples’ lives in a way that simply cannot be matched.
“Nurses and midwives provide expert skilled care and compassion, and they are highly talented leaders in the NHS. This campaign is all about inspiring young people and others who want a change of career to come and work for the NHS and have a rewarding and fulfilling career that makes a real difference.”
NHS England’s Medical Director for Cumbria and the North East, Professor Chris Gray, said: “Nursing is a very rewarding and varied profession that offers excellent career opportunities in a wide range of settings including mental healthcare, GP surgeries and community-based care.
“As a nurse you get to work in supportive, inspiring teams, and you make a huge difference to the lives of patients every day.”
The campaign aims to increase the total number of applications into the NHS by 22,000 as well as double the numbers of nurses returning to practice and improve retention of staff. It will recognise the incredible contribution and impact of NHS staff who treat over one million patients every 24 hours across the country in GP surgeries, hospitals and at home.
Despite having respect from the public, the campaign research found differences in parents’ expectations for sons and daughters in the region. 61% of parents said they would be proud of their son being a nurse and 31% were unable to name roles that they can work in other than hospitals.
Further findings suggest they are unaware of the skills and opportunities available in 21st century nursing, the vast majority saw nurses first and foremost as ‘caring’ but far fewer saw them as ‘leaders’, ‘innovators’ and ‘academics.’
The NHS treats over 1.4 million people every 24 hours – while around two-thirds of the 540,000-strong nursing workforce are based in hospitals, one-third work in other settings including providing care in people’s homes and in GP surgeries.
As well as the national recruitment campaign, NHS England is leading work with over 800 nursing and midwifery ambassadors who are helping to change the perceptions of these professions to help parents, teachers and young people see nursing and midwifery as a career of choice.