30 / 01 / 2009
NHS North West
HR and medical staff from each PCT and trust in the Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority (SHA) region regularly attend recruitment and retention network meetings organised by the SHA. Attendees discuss how to promote careers in the NHS to school leavers and students. One of the outcomes of these meetings was a 'take your child to work day'.
The event was held to enable school children and students aged between 10 and 18 to accompany a parent or guardian to work for one day at a PCT or hospital trust within the region.
The purpose of the event was to encourage trusts and PCTs to focus attention on vacancies for entry-level positions and encourage innovative thinking around attracting suitable applicants for these posts. Children between the ages 10 and 18 to visit trusts, giving them a first-hand opportunity to learn more about the wide range of jobs and careers available within the NHS and the skills and qualifications required for these posts
The participating rusts focussed on putting together a comprehensive programme for the day. It was agreed that unless there was structure, variety and fun involved, then the event might have a negative effect rather than a positive one.
The emphasis was on challenging stereotypes and preconceptions and giving visitors a flavour of the less well-known healthcare careers and their entry requirements.
Each organisation took ownership of their programme to suit their local needs, focussing on activity in departments that may be unfamiliar or under-targeted by applicants. Buy-in from all colleagues within the targeted departments was critical to the success of the day as they were often required to take an active role.
Activities that took place included: guided tours (for example, of wards and theatres), team building exercises, demonstrations of life-saving techniques and venapuncture, presentations and quizzes.
Over 200 youngsters took part across the region. A great deal of enthusiasm was generated at all the events and each person attending the day received a certificate of achievement and attendance, and an NHS Careers goody. The event attracted positive local media coverage.
All participants completed a formal feedback questionnaire, the results of which will feed into any future event. A formal evaluation is now underway with a view to endorsing and developing this model as a branded local initiative for the future.
Of the feedback, 26 responses indicated that after this event, they would now consider a career in the NHS; 10 respondents that they had already decided to work in the NHS but that this day had confirmed their decision was the correct one for them. Over half of those that took part said that they did not know there were so many different careers in the NHS prior to this day.
We do not have contact details for the above case study, the Cheshire and Merseyside SHA merged with other SHAs in the region to become North West SHA.
(Details were correct up to the time of publishing. NHS Employers does endeavour to check data on a six-monthly basis to ensure information and contact details are correct but cannot guarantee their accuracy).