NHS steps up recruitment with real patient stories

NHS_UR31J4yNHS England is launching a major recruitment drive using real patient stories to provide an inspiring account of daily life working in the health service, encouraging young people to see nursing as a fulfilling and life-changing career.

The campaign, devised by MullenLowe, forms part of the “We Are The NHS” recruitment drive, which ran for the first time in 2018/19 and has seen nursing applications increase from 85,240 in 2019 to 117,285 in 2022.

This year, the campaign comprises two films, featuring the real stories of patients. These are brought to life through the use of patients’ own social media posts and footage recorded by family members during their time in hospital and recovery.

MullenLowe Group UK supplemented these moments with fresh footage, featuring real nurses alongside the two patients.

The campaign is informed by qualitative research among students and career switchers, which reiterated the caring nature of prospective nurses, but also demonstrated their appetite to learn and grow professionally in their careers. It also revealed that most people have no idea about the huge variety of specialist nursing roles from A&E nurse, to ward nurse, to pain nurse, to teenage cancer nurse, and many more.

Running under the strapline “We Are Life-Changing Careers”, the activity responds directly to these insights by demonstrating the impact that nurses can have on others, while simultaneously growing and developing professionally in any number of directions.

The multi-channel campaign will run across video-on-demand, cinema, social, radio and digital audio, interactive quiz, online, CRM, PR and partnerships.

This is the fifth year of the campaign and the first work out of the agency since being reappointed to the account in a statutory review that took place earlier this year.

NHS England lead campaign manager Ian Hampton said: “The campaign this year focuses on what our nurses get out of a career in the NHS – that a nursing role in the NHS won’t just see them having an extraordinary impact on patients’ lives, it can do the same for theirs too.

“For the last four years our campaign has contributed to significant year-on-year increases in the numbers of students starting Nursing undergraduate degrees. We are proud of that, and hope that the latest iteration of ‘We Are The NHS’ will continue to have a positive effect on nursing application numbers.”

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