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Friday, 30 March 2018

TV doctors return to the classroom to promote careers in the NHS

Written by Jennifer Cockerell

TV doctors Rosemary Leonard, Ellie Cannon and Sara Kayat are returning to the classroom to encourage pupils to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and consider careers in the NHS.

The medics will visit secondary schools and colleges in England this summer as part of the NHS's 70th birthday celebrations to help inspire the workforce of the future.

They will talk to pupils about the importance of studying STEM subjects which are needed to take up many of the key roles in the NHS including dentists, doctors, nurses, midwives and paramedics as well as scientific and engineering roles outside the health service.

A number of other senior health leaders and clinicians will also visit state schools including NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, Chief Nursing Officer for England Professor Jane Cummings, and Baroness Dido Harding, chairwoman of NHS Improvement.

A lesson plan called Knowing Your NHS has also been produced for use in secondary schools to promote interest in and understanding of the NHS.

Dr Cannon, a GP who regularly appears on the TV and radio, said: "The NHS is a great place to work, and studying STEM at school has opened up so many opportunities for me.

"It is so important we find ways to spark the imaginations of young people so they opt for one of the many rich and rewarding roles in patient care that the NHS can offer."

Mr Stevens said: "As the NHS turns 70 this year, we can rightly be proud of the enormous contribution it has made to our country.

"But it is absolutely vital we inspire young people to think about working in the NHS and to take up the vital STEM subjects that will equip them for rewarding careers in the future workforce of the NHS."

The NHS is the country's largest employer, offering more than 350 types of profession, many requiring STEM qualifications.

Currently only one in four secondary school students choose two STEM A-Levels, and only one in 11 choose maths and physics.

Ashley Hodges, executive director of Speakers for Schools, said: "We are thrilled to be supporting the NHS's 70th birthday by helping NHS leadership get into schools across the UK, celebrating not only its amazing contributions to Britain since its foundation, but also the array of specialists, innovators and outstanding individuals that make their work possible.

"We hope this will help students see the amazing amount of opportunity available in the healthcare sector, from bio-medicine to therapy and support roles, and spark new interests for their future."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture - Dr Sara Kayat (c) 

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