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NHS launches renewed recruitment drive

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The pandemic has stretched the NHS The pandemic has stretched the NHS to its limits

NHS England is launching a recruitment campaign to strengthen the health service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative aims to capitalise on the ‘Nightingale effect’, the ‘unprecedented’ interest in joining the NHS as a result of the pandemic. According to NHS England, the demands of contending with coronavirus, while keeping other services running, means recruitment has never been more crucial.

Read more: Nursing and midwifery workforce numbers continue to grow

‘This year – more than any other – people have seen the vital role nurses, midwives, paramedics and other health care workers carry out every day and the lives they have saved,’ said Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England.

‘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. 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.’

Read more: More rapid COVID-19 tests to be rolled out across England

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 £5000 to £8000 each year.

‘I’m exceptionally proud of being a nurse and am thrilled that so many others feel the same way; in 2020 we’ve had a quite phenomenal number of applications onto registered nursing programmes,’ said Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England.

‘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.’

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