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Friday, 11 August, 2000, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
NHS to recruit online
NHS staff
The NHS is Europe's biggest employer
The government is planning to attract thousands of extra nurses and doctors to the NHS by advertising over the internet.

The move is aimed at reducing NHS advertisement costs and meeting the government's pledge to recruit an additional 20,000 nurses and almost 10,000 doctors over the next five years.

The recent national plan for the NHS acknowledged that the health service was understaffed and ministers have pledged to embark on a major recruitment drive over the next few years.

Ministers hope the decision to place details of all vacancies on the internet will boost recruitment.

The NHS is the biggest employer in Europe, with more than one million staff. However, many posts, particularly nursing jobs, remain unfilled.

The NHS spends an estimated 30m annually on advertising and last year earmarked 5m for a massive nurse recruitment drive.

Health minister Lord Hunt said the strategy was aimed at attracting dedicating people into the NHS.

"The internet is now a major tool used by an increasing number of employers to recruit the best staff.

"The NHS must follow suit if it is to retain and recruit the highly skilled, dedicated staff it needs to take forward the radical reforms set out in the NHS plan."

He added that it would also make it easier for existing staff to apply for promotions within the health service.

"It will also help to develop the careers of those already working in the health service by acting as a single source of vacancy information.

"Staff working in even the smallest rural trust or GP's surgery will be able to see at a glance all available posts throughout the NHS, encouraging them to apply for posts or promotion which they previously might not have known existed."

The Department of Health will invite private companies to submit bids to run the site next week.

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See also:

14 Jun 00 | Health
More foreign nurses coming to UK
28 Feb 00 | Health
Recruitment boost for NHS
17 Jan 00 | Health
Why an NHS nurse is hard to find
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