NHS bosses urge people in Hampshire to join the service as it celebrates turning 73

NHS bosses have urged people across Hampshire to join them as the health service turns 73.

The call comes ahead of a special birthday service being held at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, which will see a number of front-line and other key staff from across the region invited to represent their colleagues.

Karen Roberts, Bereavement Services manager at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust is among those attending, along with Rev Dawn Banting, chaplain at the trust.

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The NHS is calling for people to join the service as it turns 73

Cherry Brennan, senior matron at Solent NHS Trust, Iain Robertson, catering manager at Solent NHS Trust and Jake Plummer, a volunteer at Solent NHS Trust, will also be attending.

With more people than ever working for the NHS in England, NHS leaders have written an open letter urging young people to join the ‘biggest care team in the world’.

Liz Rix, chief nurse at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, said: ‘This has been a year like no other for our NHS family across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – they have faced incredible challenges dealing with the pandemic and keeping other vital services going, but they have also brought real hope, in particular through our world-leading vaccination programme.

‘So it’s right that we take the opportunity of the 73rd anniversary of our NHS to highlight the incredible contribution that staff have made, those who have helped them and our communities too.

‘Seeing the breadth of staff representing Hampshire and the Isle of Wight at the national service today is another reminder of the huge range of roles available for people with all kinds of different backgrounds, talents and passions.’

The open letter encourages the public to apply for any one of the 25,000 vacancies currently being advertised - many of which fall outside traditional health roles such as doctor and nurse and do not require a medical or health background.

Training courses for health roles are also available.

The call comes on the back of a record breaking 18 months during the pandemic that has led to a surge in people joining.

Almost 200,000 people have taken up jobs in the NHS in the last year, a near seven per cent rise from the year before. The NHS has also seen a jump in interest for degrees related to healthcare, with medical applications up by a fifth from 23,720 to 28,690.

Meanwhile, applications for nursing degrees increased by almost a third to 60,130 for the 2021/22 academic year.

The increase in applications and employees comes on the back of a year where NHS staff treated more than 400,000 Covid patients while continuing to see millions of patients for non-Covid conditions and successfully delivering the world’s first vaccination programme.

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS, said: ‘The incredible compassion, skill and pure hard work NHS staff perform every day has been centre stage for the past 18 months so it is no surprise that thousands more people are feeling inspired to join the best workforce in the world.

‘The NHS is more than just doctors and nurses and there are so many exciting roles available, many of which do not require a formal medical qualification, from porters and cleaners to catering staff and IT analysts.

‘So as we celebrate 73 years of our wonderful NHS, I urge all of you who have been inspired this past year to visit our website and take a look at the 25,000 roles currently available, and we look forward to welcoming you to one of the most rewarding jobs you can do.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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