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‘A third of Brits would consider working for NHS since outbreak’

One in three adults would now consider working for the NHS because of its response to the Covid-19 outbreak, a survey published this week has revealed.

The YouGov and Sheffield Hallam University poll found that more than a third (36%) of 2,507 UK respondents would be willing to work in an NHS healthcare role after seeing the dedication of workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The results come as Sheffield Hallam reports a 16% increase in the number of nursing and midwifery course applications compared to the same period last year. It also follows the Government’s announcement this month that it would fund an extra 5,000 places on university healthcare courses.

However, Dr Christopher Low, associate dean for the College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Science at Sheffield Hallam University called on the Government to become ‘even more ambitious’ in its efforts to boost the NHS workforce.

He continued: ‘This is a moment to transform the NHS; to bring together health and social care to create a truly national, high-quality regulated and integrated care system with responsibility for every aspect of the nation’s health; and to outline a long-term workforce plan to achieve this transformational goal.’

The YouGov survey’s younger respondents, aged 16 to 24, felt particularly encouraged to start an NHS career with 43% saying they had been inspired by the actions of its workforce.

In addition, almost a quarter (24%) of adults said the public celebration and recognition the NHS has received during the outbreak means they would now be willing to work for the NHS.

Dr Low added: ‘The groundswell of support and recognition for those on the NHS frontline is becoming a clarion call to the huge number of highly motivated young people who value a career that gives them the opportunity to make a real contribution to society.’

Actor and RCN ambassador Emilia Clarke has this week joined tributes to nurses for International Nurses’ Day in a video published online.

Thousands of former nurses have returned to the NHS to help fight coronavirus, while nearly 19,500 third-year student nurses and midwives have asked to take up paid placements.