How the #LoveSouthTyneside social media campaign could help hire more doctors

A council campaign promoting South Tyneside could be a key tool in drawing GPs, nurses and health workers to the borough, councillors have been told.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 9:10 am
The launch of the #LoveSouthTyneside campaign in February 2019

The #LoveSouthTyneside campaign, launched earlier this year, aims to shine a spotlight on the area’s best assets.

This includes recognising and promoting civic pride and raising awareness of volunteering opportunities/community events.

At a meeting of South Tyneside Council’s Place Select Committee on September 10 it was revealed South Tyneside’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are backing the scheme.

This forms part of a health recruitment campaign to encourage people to work in South Tyneside – from national adverts to outreach work in schools and universities.

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Corporate lead for strategy and performance on the council, Hayley Johnson, explained the reasons for the move.

“The CCG aims to attract GPs, students thinking about a medical career, adult social care workers, nurses for private care homes – all of the areas right across the whole spectrum.

“The CCG loved #LoveSouthTyneside and they thought that as a place, South Tyneside is really attractive.

“We have some incredible high quality homes, some of the best schools and the leisure.

“Whether you’re a GP or a student about to start, we have a lot to offer, so the CCG asked us if they could be part of the campaign.”

The meeting heard several other partners had pledged to back the scheme with the CCG’s help.

This includes the Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, St Thomas Complex, First Contact Clinical, Age UK, healthwatch and the local pharmaceutical committee.

Council officer Hayley Johnson added: “They all want to be part of this, they all want the very best employees and they want them here in South Tyneside.”

At the meeting, several councillors threw their support behind the campaign and said it was important to talk up South Tyneside.

They agreed it was important to support community groups with their work – from extra resources to training around council rules and regulations.

Other ideas included promoting recycling in schools and encouraging businesses to give back to the community.

This could range from firms providing volunteers to take part in litter picks to supporting local food banks.

Matt Brown, executive director of operations at South Tyneside CCG, welcomed the campaign.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “South Tyneside is a great place to build a career in the NHS.

“By working with the #LoveSouthTyneside campaign, we can do more to spread the word about our area and the many advantages it has to offer.

“Recruitment of skilled medical staff is a challenge for the NHS right across the country, so we want GPs and healthcare workers to know about things like our excellent schools, affordable homes and beautiful beaches.

“This is one of a number of steps we are taking to encourage GPs, nurses, social workers and other specialists to start their careers in our community.

“That includes Career Start, which offers extra training, mentorship and support for newly qualified GPs who choose South Tyneside.

“We are also linking closely with Sunderland University’s new medical school, which is now training its first medical students right on our doorstep.”

For more information on the #LoveSouthTyneside campaign, visit: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/65624