As the NHS launches the biggest recruitment drive in its 70 year history across the South East, new research has shown the special place that it’s 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 South East, according to the research carried out for the major new campaign, ‘We are the NHS’.
The survey found that 39% and 57% of people respectively in the South East would choose nurses and doctors as professions they trust the most, and 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 will highlight the vast range of opportunities available in the NHS for potential new recruits and will initially put the spotlight on the 540,000-strong nursing profession, prioritising key areas including mental health, learning disability and community and primary care nurses, in a bid to encourage people in the South 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 highlight the vast range of opportunities available for talented and dedicated people.
The new campaign, which kicks off in the week of the NHS’s 70th birthday on July 5, which feature 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.”
Lisa Beaumont, Director of Nursing from NHS England’s Hampshire and Thames Valley Office, said: “As we celebrate 70 years of the NHS and all its achievements, now is a great time to highlight the wide variety of healthcare careers available. First and foremost, people who work in the NHS do so because they care about others. It’s a fundamental thread that binds us all together; working to provide the best possible care and achieve the best outcomes for our patients. It’s what makes us tick. Being part of a nursing team on a hospital ward or A/E department; or working in community setting delivering care to people closer to home is special.
“Applying clinical skills and knowledge is immensely satisfying. By its nature, a career in healthcare is varied and challenging, and our training is second to none. We have a wide range of healthcare related careers available, and the opportunities for a long rewarding career are great. I’d urge anyone who feels a calling towards a career in healthcare to take a look at the exciting opportunities and careers on offer, they won’t be disappointed.”
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 in all sectors. 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, as part of the biggest recruitment drive in NHS history.
Despite having respect from the public, the campaign research found demonstrable differences in parents’ in the South East expectations for sons and daughters. Only 38% of parents said they would be proud of their son being a nurse and 35% 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 21stcentury 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.