Posted on 3/08/2018 by David Burgess
Oxford hospital worker picked as face of NHS recruitment drive
AN Oxford hospital worker has been selected to be the face of a national campaign to encourage more young people to take up roles in the NHS.
Hospital operating department practitioner (ODP) Lilly Williams has been chosen as an ambassador for a new national nursing and allied health profession recruitment campaign, which senior health figures hope will help alleviate the current staffing crisis affecting hospitals up and down the country, including those in Oxfordshire.
The 25-year-old has recently qualified as an ODP providing care before, during and after surgery at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH).
She is one of a team of student and newly-qualified nurses and health professionals from across the country to have been recruited as ambassadors for the campaign.
The group will spread the word about their professions, talk about their experiences and provide first-hand advice to those thinking about doing a nursing or Allied Health Professional (AHP) degree.
Ms Williams, said: “I’m so pleased to have been chosen as an ambassador for this exciting new campaign.
“It’s vital that we inspire more young people who are choosing their future career paths to study these degrees and educate them on the huge range of opportunities that careers in Allied Health Professions, such as operating department practice, offer.
“Not only does my degree allow me to work anywhere, it’s given me the opportunity to really make a difference to people’s lives.”
Local NHS bosses have been battling a staffing crisis for a number of years with hospitals struggling to attract and keep hold of staff in Oxfordshire.
Last winter saw a number of beds closed across OUH hospitals because of staff shortages while a lack of surgery staff contributed to the trust failing to meet its cancer treatment target in April.
The high cost of living in the area has been cited as the main reason for the retention and recruitment issues with politicians, unions and hospital leaders calling for an ‘Oxford weighting’ to staff pay.
Recent figures show that OUH, which runs the John Radcliffe and the Churchill Hospitals in Oxford, has a current annual turnover of band five nurses of 21.5 per cent.
When tackling the staffing crisis, the trust, which employs around 12,000 people in total, has identified retention and recruitment of band five nurses (which includes newly qualified nurses) as the ‘main challenge’.
The new campaign, spearheaded by Health Education England, aims to encourage more students to study for degrees in nursing and the allied health professions (AHPs) and will hope to result in an increase in applications through clearing 2018 and ahead of the UCAS applications deadline in January 2019.
Chief executive at Health Education England professor Ian Cumming, said: “We want more young people leaving sixth form or college to consider a career in nursing and the allied health professions.
“These are highly valued and rewarding careers that we want young people to consider.
“These are roles that whilst challenging, offer a chance to make a real difference to people’s lives.”