NHS Leaders Inspire Next Generation: Back to School Talks

Healthcare leaders go back to school

As part of plans to mark the NHS’s 75th birthday, more than 120 of the country’s most senior NHS, health and care leaders are going back to school to talk to children and young people about why they should consider a career in the NHS.

The initiative, which is a partnership between NHS England and the charity Speakers for Schools, was kicked off in early March when Dr Arun Chidambaram, Medical Director, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust gave a talk to over 130 children at Shirebrook Academy in Derbyshire.

Other senior leaders set to return to the classroom include Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive, NHS England, Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for England, Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of Council, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Dr Chris Grant, Medical Director for the North West Ambulance Service.

As well as sharing their personal stories of working in the NHS, health and care, the speakers will highlight the role science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects have for some professional careers in the Service. They will also talk about the history of the NHS and the huge medical advances it has delivered, from the world’s first liver, heart and lung transplant through to pioneering new treatments, such as bionic eyes to restore sight.

Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for England said: “I’m delighted to be joining my colleagues from across the country to give talks in schools, academies and colleges during the NHS’s 75th birthday year.

“There are more than 350 different careers in the NHS, from doctors, nurses and scientists through to plumbers, receptionists and 999 call handlers. There’s something for everyone and I am sure our talks will inspire children and young people to think about a joining the NHS when they get older”.

Lily Clifford, Head of Inspiration, Speakers for Schools, said: “We are delighted to see over 100 experts from a huge range of career paths within the NHS and other health bodies come together to inspire young people in state schools. Inspirational talks such as these represent an important tool for inspiring the younger generation as they make important decisions about their future. We are grateful to the NHS putting education at the heart of their 75th birthday celebrations.”

Dr Arun Chidambaram, Medical Director, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “I was delighted to give the first NHS 75 school talk and hope I persuaded the students that there is a job for everyone in the NHS, no matter what their skills or interests. The NHS is more than doctors and nurses – there are amazing opportunities in finance, IT, catering, pharmacy, business administration, project management and, of course, a range of therapies.” 

Schools and teachers who are interested in signing up for a talk, should visit the Speakers for Schools website. For more information about the NHS’s 75th birthday, visit the NHS England website.