THE biggest recruitment drive in the entire history of the National Health Service has been launched in a bid to fill around 100,000 vacancies.
The £8 million campaign, called “We Are The NHS”, will target school children, aged 14 to 18, with a number of TV, radio, and social media adverts, in an attempt to make them consider a career in the NHS.
The campaign launched this week, to coincide with the NHS’ 70th anniversary, aims to raise awareness about lesser known NHS roles such as district nurses. However, a particular focus will be placed on recruiting nurses, where there are 6,000 vacancies in England alone. It will predominantly focus on recruiting candidates from the UK in an effort to boost the number of homegrown nurses and midwives.
Responding to the new campaign, UKIP’s health spokesperson, Dr Julia Reid MEP, said:
“Unfortunately, whilst the Government’s objective to ‘boost the number of homegrown nurses and midwives’ is commendable, I believe their plan is ultimately flawed. Any young person that actually does their homework, before applying to course in nursing and other healthcare subjects, will very quickly realise that they’re getting a bad deal – as have the thousands of once-potential nursing students who have come to this realisation already.
“In fact, since the Government scrapped bursaries for students studying nursing and other healthcare roles, applications to these courses have plummeted by A THIRD, and it’s easy to see why. Since the latter half of last year, students studying nursing and other healthcare subjects now have to pay £9,000 a year in fees – with the hopes, that at the end of it all, they’ll land themselves a job where they are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated.
“In addition to this, the 37.5 hour-a-week placements, which healthcare students are required to do, make it very difficult for them to take-up part-time jobs to help pay for their rent and other expenses. Therefore, even prior to the removal of the bursaries, the majority of nursing students would still, through no fault of their own, find themselves in a great deal of financial difficulty throughout their studies.
“Thus, whilst we in UKIP appreciate the sentiment, we feel that the campaign would be significantly more effective if the Government brought back the bursaries. In addition to this, we believe that it’s only fair to introduce a living-wage for students whilst they’re on their placements.”