NHS marks 70th anniversary with major recruitment campaign

The NHS is celebrating its 70th year of operation with the launch of an £8m TV advertising campaign designed to attract thousands of new nurses to the profession.

Backed by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care the 'We Are the NHS' anniversary push will span TV, radio, posters and social media in what is being touted as the health providers single biggest recruitment campaign ever.

Sparked by an urgent need to address staff shortages in critical areas the promotion will focus on mental health, learning disability, community and general practice nursing where the need is most acute. The campaign has been devised by MullenLowe London.

Mark Elwood, executive creative director of the agency, said: “The NHS is a jewel in this country’s crown. Some creative ideas need you to dramatise what the product or organisation actually does.

"Our idea was an exercise in knowing when to get out of the way and just show the incredible work all of the NHS staff perform every day, every night, 365 days a year. Hopefully, we’ve achieved just that.”

The NHS in England is currently labouring under a serious staff shortage with 34,000 nursing vacancies currently lying unfilled, highlighting the magnitude of the task in hand. As well as doubling the total number of NHS applications to 22,000 the campaign aims to double the number of nurses returning to practice and improve staff retention rates to ensure it has the resources it needs.

Previous efforts to ease pressure on the NHS include the launch of a 'self-diagnostic' website.

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