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A successful recruitment drive across the country has resulted in tens of thousands of new healthcare support workers joining the NHS. NHS trusts reported almost 35,000 job offers since the end of January, with over 25,000 already starting as healthcare support workers - 9,000 of whom are new to the profession.
During a nationwide recruitment campaign earlier this year, almost 4,000 “on-the-spot” job offers were made to people attending events to boost patient, staff and family support. With the help of hiring platform Indeed, the recruitment campaign was run across several major cities across the country, with Manchester, London, Bristol, and Leeds being among the host cities.
A local careers fair aimed to attract non-care workers, those returning to work after a break, and people seeking a career change, with the positions open to anyone with no previous care experience or qualifications.
There are hundreds of healthcare support workers employed by the NHS providing support to patients during treatment and assisting nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals.
The NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard welcomed the new recruits, saying they will be at the "heart of wards, clinics, and local communities" supporting current NHS staff in caring for hundreds of thousands of patients.
A number of steps have already been taken by the NHS to prepare for winter, including increasing bed capacity and call handlers on NHS 111 and 999.
Announcing the new recruitment, NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said: "Healthcare support workers play an essential role in the care of patients on wards, clinics and local communities across the country, and I am delighted to welcome every new recruit. As we continue to work on COVID-19 backlogs and prepare for winter, they will play an integral role in caring for patients. NHS staff are already working incredibly hard with pressure on various fronts and as we prepare for the winter, additional healthcare support workers will be a huge help in delivering the plans we have already set out - from increasing bed capacity to increasing call handlers for NHS 111 and 999. We are looking for people who are interested in joining the NHS team, so whether you are looking for a career change or have just started out, I encourage you to check out an event near you or search for 'NHS careers' online today.”
According to Chris Hyams, CEO of Indeed, "Indeed's mission is to help people get jobs, and we're proud to have helped thousands move into NHS roles. People's joy when they receive on-the-day job offers from the health service has been truly humbling over the last two years. The values and compassion we saw in candidates indicate that healthcare support workers play a vital role in society, and that this is only the beginning of a rewarding and meaningful career. This campaign has recently been shortlisted for the Best Recruitment Experience Award at the 2022 Nursing Times Workforce Awards, which recognises the campaign's innovation, collaboration, and impact in recruiting new recruits for the NHS. Over 10,000 healthcare support workers joined the NHS in 2021 due to the "Nightingale effect" as a result of the pandemic. A staff member of University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Ridwan Adebakin, was hired at the Plymouth event in March."
In discussion of his recruitment event experience, Ridwan said: "I really enjoyed it." He also added "Due to my passion for care, I chose to attend the events after hearing about them from a friend. There were a lot of people there, so I was nervous. The interview went well, and when I was offered the job, I was very excited. Since I come from Nigeria, I was aware of the NHS' reputation as one of the best healthcare employers in the world. Having always been passionate about care, I knew I wanted to work for the NHS when I arrived in the UK in January." As Ridwan has never worked in the care sector before, he said it is a very interesting job that involves various patient care activities every day.
Husna Khatun and Hanifa Begum, a mother and daughter, joined the NHS following a recruitment event and talking to NHS staff. Previously working in a warehouse with Husna, Hanifa now helps provide mental health care for female patients on an inpatient ward at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. “We wanted a career where helping people would give us job satisfaction,” Husna said. “Hanifa and I visited a recruitment event with my youngest daughter, who heard about it through her university, we went to support her but ended up speaking with staff and being interviewed. I didn't realize how much background training is required, but I've learned most of the job before beginning on my ward, so I didn't feel thrown in to fend for myself. I feel like I am part of a family in an environment that helps me grow as a person and as an individual. It takes a real team to run a shift and everyone has each other's back - I know I can depend on them through thick and thin.”
The NHS has also been encouraging those nearing the end of their studies by hosting in-person events for those considering a career in health care. Students from local secondary schools are given the opportunity to talk to a range of medical professionals at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, as well as experience hands-on training within the hospital's clinical education facility, so they can start a career in the health care system after they graduate.
For more information, search ‘NHS Careers’ or visit www.healthcareers.nhs.uk.
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