Government campaign urges teenagers and career switchers to join NHS

By Lisa O'Brien | Health | Published:

Talented teenagers and career switchers across Shropshire and the West Midlands are being encouraged to start a career in the NHS as part of a new national campaign launched by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Students training towards the careers highlighted in the campaign will benefit from the new £5,000 annual maintenance grant to help with their living costs.

It is targetting occupational therapists, paramedics, podiatrists, diagnostic radiographers, therapeutic radiographers, orthoptists, physiotherapists, prosthetists, orthotists and nursing roles.

In the West Midlands, 325 more people joined the NHS as allied health professionals in 2016/17 – a 15.3 per cent increase on the previous five years.

However, the region employed a low percentage of the country’s podiatrists and orthoptists.

As well as the £5,000 grant, extra payments worth up to £3,000 a year will also be available.

These will be for people studying in regions or specialisms that are struggling to recruit, and for people with childcare responsibilities.

The new funding package will benefit around 100,000 students every year.

The Government says working as an allied health professional offers a fulfilling, flexible and rewarding career with the opportunity to be part of a team, all working together to help one other.


The roles include everything from making lifesaving decisions as a paramedic to using state of the art technology to spot cancers before they develop as a radiographer, or enabling someone to walk again as a prosthetist.

Sarah Bradder, therapeutic radiographer at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and Society of Radiographer’s student therapeutic radiographer of the year in 2019, said: “Helping others with their treatment and being with them through what can be such a difficult time is the most rewarding aspect of my role.

"Working closely with such dedicated colleagues across so many professions reminds you how important, unique and special our NHS is to all.

"With ever increasing advances in therapeutic and technological capability, as well as endless opportunities to learn and grow, it’s always exciting to see how we continue to make that difference to people’s lives.”

For more career information and routes into all the professions visit

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.


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