National NHS careers campaign launched

The Department of Health has launched a £4m national recruitment drive to
attract new staff and encourage trained professionals back into the NHS.

The scheme will include a major television advertising campaign and is
designed to highlight the breadth of careers available within the NHS to boost
recruitment across the board.

As well as appealing for more doctors and nurses the NHS also aims to fill more
diverse roles from midwives and radiographers to occupational therapists and
healthcare scientists.

Health secretary John Reid launched the 2004 NHS Careers scheme, which will
also incorporate internet, magazine and newspaper advertising. He said the
campaign would focus on attracting ‘returners’ but would also highlight the
benefits of working within the NHS to help retain existing staff.

"We are confident the campaign will attract interest from new staff in
a range of different careers as well as encourage ex-healthcare professionals
to return to the NHS," he said.

"However, we are aware that we must also offer existing staff the
benefits that will have a direct impact on their working lives. Initiatives
such as flexible working, career structures and the new pay structure, Agenda
for Change, are all playing their part in encouraging retention of existing

The TV ads feature the voices of real NHS staff who tell the story of a
fictional patient’s journey through the hospital system.

Karen Jennings, national secretary at public service union Unison, backed
the campaign and said she hoped it would help people think positively about a
career in the NHS.

A similar campaign last year resulted in 80,000 enquiries to the NHS careers

By Ross Wigham

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