A Croydon school held an NHS careers evening last week, inviting professionals from across the industry to meet students.

Over 30 NHS staff representing services from the frontline to the boardroom visited Royal Russell School, a co-educational independent primary and secondary.

All gave their time willingly to discuss the many career opportunities in the NHS, providing a unique opportunity for youngsters to learn more first hand.

The evening comprised ‘drop in’ sessions where students and their parents spoke to the NHS professionals about their work and sought advice on next steps that might lead to a career in the NHS.


Students with Dr Fernandes (centre) and Headmaster Chris Hutchinson (far right) speaking to paramedic.

“My aim in bringing a wide range of NHS professionals into the school setting was to inspire students from Year 9 upwards to learn about some of the 350 different careers available in the NHS,” says Dr Agnelo Fernandes MBE FRCGP, Clinical Chair at NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group.

“The ‘NHS Night’ careers event built on the recent high awareness of the NHS as we celebrated its 70th anniversary this year. It exposed parents, staff and students to the many job opportunities on offer and enabled students to discuss and consider their potential to be part of the future NHS workforce.

“The current workforce crisis in the NHS worries me greatly.

“We will be relying on today’s youngsters to take the NHS forward for the next 70 years and beyond.

"It will be their NHS and we must actively seek bright, inquisitive, creative and motivated individuals coming through our schools today to secure the sustainability of the NHS for tomorrow.”


Royal Russell School NHS Night

Other participating staff included a psychiatrist, director and a head of nursing.

Hamzah Mughal, Year 10 student at Royal Russell School said: “This NHS would be an amazing employer and event showed me there are so many different routes and different departments to consider.

“The dietician and occupational therapy stands really struck me as interesting and they gave excellent advice about what subjects I should be taking towards my goal.

"I feel it’s given me a good head start.”

Headmaster Chris Hutchinson said: “The potential to empower students to make an educated choice – and then make a difference to the future of the NHS - is compelling.

“We immediately welcomed the idea of the NHS Night but felt we couldn’t just keep it to ourselves, hence we invited neighbouring schools to enjoy this opportunity alongside us.

"It has been an absolute eye-opener for us all and many excellent ideas and opportunities have arisen from the discussions.

"The informal ‘drop in’ format worked well, allowing for a higher level of engagement than a traditional talk or presentation.

"I would like to thank Dr Fernandes for bringing this opportunity to our school: it was an inspired concept that would do well to be replicated by other schools and local authorities to spread the word about the many career opportunities offered by the NHS.”