Local students attend unique health and social care careers event to inspire the workforce of the future

Organised in partnership between Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), Hall Cross Academy and other health, social care and educational organisations in the area, ‘We Care – Into the Future’ allowed our young people to understand what the NHS and care sector has to offer local students upon completing school. Attending on the day were clinical teams specialised in training and delivering care, who provided attendees with an insight into the real world of health and social care work.

The event was designed as a highly interactive experience. Firstly, the students were guided through a simulation corridor that demonstrated a patient’s journey from the community through to the emergency department, operating theatres, a hospital ward and back to the community. From there, our young people were able to speak to specialists from approximately 350 different careers who held stands that displayed their career pathways, examples of their practice and a hands-on approach through games, quizzes and interactive models and displays.

The stands were facilitated by health and social care staff from across Doncaster, who helped to challenge the perceptions of available roles within health care and raise the aspirations of our young people. The students interacted with a range of education providers who were able to advise and guide the students on the range of vocational and academic pathways available to them after leaving comprehensive school.

The event organisers approached all secondary schools within the Doncaster area to invite their year eight students to the day. This year, the event saw many more schools sign up to take part, with attendance up from 700 attendees in 2019 to 1,000 students this year.

Dr Alasdair Strachan, Director of Education and Research at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), said: “We were so pleased to be able to host the We Care into the Future careers event at the Doncaster Dome this year. It benefits our local students being able to meet in-person specialists in health and social care and be inspired to follow them in their careers towards these crucial roles. It encourages our young people to attain higher aspirations in their working lives so that they can go on to have a fulfilling and rewarding career both to benefit themselves and to support our local communities for future generations to come.”

Simon Swain, Principle for Hall Cross Academy – A Foundation School in Health, said: “This event gave the students of Doncaster a fantastic opportunity to see what options they have open to them when considering their GCSE choices and when looking at the next steps in their education. Many children are not aware of the breadth of roles on offer, so this was a crucial opportunity for our young people, to be informed about their future and ensure that we are creating a workforce capable of supporting healthcare services into the future. Hall Cross Academy has been working in partnership with DBTH as a Foundation School in Health, and is proud of our Healthcare Ambassadors, who were actively involved on the day supporting the organisers by helping navigate the students around the exhibition hall as well as using their photography skills to document the day’s events.”

At Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals alone there are over 250 different career pathways, from patient-facing roles to those in non-patient facing roles, all working together to deliver high quality patient care and treatment.

At the event, there were representatives from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Doncaster Council, Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield, Doncaster College, BPP Universities, Age UK, and Opportunities Doncaster.

This event is part of the award-winning work between Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals and Hall Cross Academy, the former becoming the UK’s first Foundation School in Health. The event has also generated interest from organisations across the country who wish to hold similar career events for their locality, with the Education team at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals offering their support to help make this a nationally recognised Health and Social Care careers event.

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